Dental sealants have been helping people prevent cavities on the back teeth since the 1970’s. Also known as pit and fissure sealants, they act as barriers against the ravages of bacteria, sticky plaque and food particles on the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. Because these teeth sit so far back in the mouth, they are difficult to brush and floss properly, making them more susceptible to dental caries.
Since the molars have a flat surface, they are prone to fissures and grooves which make them a virtual haven for bacteria and sticky plaque to congregate. Sealants act as a shield to keep out bacteria, plaque and food particles that would otherwise accumulate in these fissures and cause dental caries.
Dental sealants are applied in just one easy visit during a painless procedure. A thin plastic coating is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Once the sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel, it bonds to the tooth as it hardens. Sealant resin can be slightly tinted, white like a tooth, or clear. The sealants are carefully inspected during future dental cleanings to ensure they are free from cracks and still keeping out harmful bacteria and plaque residue.
While sealants typically last anywhere from 5-7 years, 10 years is not unheard of if properly cared for and intact, having no cracks in the sealant material. While sealants are commonly used on the molars and premolars of children and teenagers, adults can also receive sealant protection as long as their molars don’t have cavities or fillings.
When combined with daily brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings, sealants offer valuable protection against cavities on the back teeth. At Smiley Dental & Orthodontics in Ft. Worth, Texas, we offer dental sealants for a healthy, beautiful smile. Please call our team at 817.927.1877 today if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with our one of our doctors.