What Are Dental Sealants & What Are They Used For?

You might wonder why you struggle with dental problems despite upholding proper oral hygiene. 

Even if you brush and floss daily, you could still be fighting a losing battle against plaque build-up. Don’t worry though, you can save your teeth with dental sealants. What are dental sealants? Let’s find out.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Sealants are a preventative form of dental treatment. They comprise a protective resin coating that goes on the tooth surface to prevent plaque build-up. While it’s easier to brush food particles off smooth chewing surfaces, the grooves on your molars and premolars can hide plaque no matter how well you clean your teeth.

Plaque is a sticky film over your teeth and might develop into cavities over time. That’s why you should go to the dentist for regular professional cleaning. And if your dentist notices an area prone to cavities, they can recommend sealants to prevent decay before it starts.

What’s the Sealant Application Process? 

Now that you know what dental sealants are, let’s dive into how they are applied. If you’re terrified of dental appointments, you’ll be pleased to note this process is quick. 

  • Cleaning and drying the affected tooth.
  • Tooth isolation to prevent saliva contamination and minimize the risk of a weak bond.
  • Applying an acidic gel to bond the sealant to the tooth surface.
  • More rinsing and drying.
  • Sealant application.
  • Hardening the sealant.

After the sealant application, you can expect the following:

  • The smoothness on the sealed surface may feel strange at first, but you’ll soon get used to it.
  • Minimal discomfort as the procedure is non-invasive and painless.
  • No changes in speech or bite because the coating is thin and won’t significantly alter the shape of your teeth.  

Who Can Get Dental Sealants?

The dentist can recommend the sealants to different people, from adults to children with permanent molars and premolars. Even if your child still has primary teeth, they can benefit from this procedure during their cavity-prone ages (6–8 years). 

Note that the sealant barrier may wear down over time, requiring extra touch-ups. As such, you still need to keep up with your dental appointments for regular monitoring. Additionally, maintain oral hygiene to preserve the sealant’s condition. Do you still need more information about what dental sealants are? Our experts at LeCroy Dental are happy to answer all your questions. Book an appointment with our dental hygienists to keep cavities away.