Sealants are a clear or white plastic bondable material. When placed in the grooves of the biting surfaces of the back teeth, teeth are protected from the destructive effects of plaque.
Why are sealants needed?
Back teeth have deep grooves and pits that are a very difficult to keep clean. Plaque, which is a nearly invisible film of bacteria and food, collects in these grooves. To make the plaque easier to see, we may stain the plaque with a harmless red dye.
Every time you eat, the bacteria in plaque forms acid. Without sealants, these acid attacks can cause the enamel to break down, and a cavity is created.
How are sealants placed?
Sealants are bonded without anesthesia. First we thoroughly clean and dry the teeth, and a conditioning solution is applied. Then the sealant material is brushed into the grooves. Some types of sealants harden on their own, while others harden when exposed to a special light.
Sealants are an important part of a preventive dental care program.