What are dental sealants?
Pediatric dental sealants are a preventative measure to significantly reduce the occurrence of cavities on teeth. We mainly place them on the back, permanent molars. Molars can have several pits, fissures and grooves that bacteria can hide in and cause cavities. Sealants make these back teeth smooth so bacteria has a harder time sticking to them and making them easier to clean. Check out these 8 Tips To Prevent Cavities!
When do you place sealants?
As soon as the tooth fully erupts and there is no gum tissue on top of the teeth. The first set of molars come in around the age of 6 and the second set at around 12. Because a tooth is more susceptible to cavities when they first erupt into the mouth, we place them as soon as the 6 yr. molars and 12 yr. molars erupt.
How do you place sealants?
The procedure is painless and relatively quick. First, we clean pits and fissures of the tooth, then place a white, tooth colored liquid that fills in all the grooves. We then use a light to harden the material. The end result is a smooth surface that is easily cleaned and much harder for bacteria to stick to.
How long do dental sealants last?
Sealants only last, on average, 2-3 years and are meant to protect the teeth during those first few vulnerable years when they first erupt. In high risk patients for cavities, the sealants can be touched up and reapplied as needed.