Purpose of a Dental Sealant

As permanent or adult teeth erupt, children that have thus far been prone to cavities (dental caries) often receive dental sealant to protect the teeth and reduce the development of a cavity. Dental sealants are a plastic-style coating, similar to the tooth-colored filling material used by dentists to fill cavities while maintaining the look of natural teeth. Unlike a filling, however, the dental sealant is applied to the surface of the tooth usually with only the use of an etching gel on the surface rather than filing or drilling.

Sealants are most often placed on molars as soon as they emerge in the child’s mouth. Molars have uneven chewing surfaces, which can collect food particles and plaque when brushing habits are insufficient. The plaque and food particles weaken the tooth enamel over time and develop into cavities or decay. When the adult molars start to appear, the dentist may opt for dental sealants to protect teeth. The surface of the molars is prepared with an etching gel and the sealant is added and cured with a UV light.

Dental sealants are designed to blend in for a seamless appearance on the natural tooth…

In younger patients that have yet to develop their permanent teeth, dental sealants can be used to reduce the occurrence of cavities, as determined on a case by case basis. The baby teeth are prepared in the same way, with the aid of an etching gel, and the sealant is applied to the teeth and cured with a UV light to form a hard, protective shield. Although typically placed on the chewing surfaces of molars, children with uneven tooth surfaces, grooves, or other non-smooth portions of teeth can also benefit from the protective layer provided by dental sealants.

Dental sealants are designed to blend in for a seamless appearance on the natural tooth, and sealant material is typically clear or tooth-colored, depending on the product used in a particular dental office. All dental sealants are designed to shield the uneven surfaces of teeth from collecting food and plaque for reduced cavities and tooth decay.

For more information on protecting and strengthening natural teeth and other efforts that can provide lasting oral health benefits, contact our caring dental team at 972-539-0608 today.