What are sealants?
Dental sealants are a form of preventive treatment used to help prevent the development of cavities that form in the grooves of teeth. The resin sealants are placed on the chewing surface of the teeth, generally the molars or premolars. These teeth are the most susceptible to cavities–due to the anatomy of the tooth, food particles get stuck in the grooves of the tooth. Bacteria accumulates in these areas, attacking the enamel and causing a cavity to form. The resin coating of the dental sealant helps prevent food and bacteria from sticking in the grooves of the tooth.
When are sealants placed?
Dental sealants are typically placed when the first permanent molars have fully erupted, around 7 years old. The dental sealant will help protect the permanent teeth of children to help prevent the formation of cavities. These sealants can also be placed on adults that are at high risk for dental cavities. Sealants last for many years, but new ones can be placed if the old sealants have worn down.