Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities. They are most often used on children and teenagers, though some adults could benefit from them as well. However, many insurance companies will not cover sealants for adults, so it’s always smart to check.
What are Sealants?
A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often. The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.
Why are Sealants Needed?
Thorough brushing can help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food, protecting the enamel from plaque and acids. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay.
How are Sealants Applied?
Dr. Walters will paint the sealant onto your tooth enamel, where it bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of your back teeth.
Do Sealants Last?
Sealants hold up well under normal chewing and may last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, Dr. Walters will check the condition of your sealants and reapply them when necessary.