What are Sealants?
The permanent molar teeth are the largest teeth in the mouth. They have a larger surface area than the other teeth and have several pits and fissures on their chewing surfaces. These grooves can be deep and are an ideal location for plaque and bacteria to accumulate and cause cavities. It is for this reason that dentists suggest applying sealants to these surfaces, especially on young children. A sealant is a resin filled coating that is applied to the chewing surface of the teeth creating a smooth surface to act as a barrier protecting the tooth from decay.
How does my child get Sealants?
Applying a sealant is a quick and easy procedure. It does not involve use of any local anesthetic. The teeth are isolated to keep the surfaces being sealed dry. They are then cleaned and the grooves are opened up with a tiny diamond bur. After that a chemical liquid etching and bond agent is brushed onto the surface of the tooth. This will etch the tooth surface making it a little rough and porous to enhance the bonding. An ultraviolet(uv) light is then used to cure the bond. The sealant is then applied in a liquid form and the uv light is applied to the surface of the tooth to create the hardening process. Sealants can be reapplied every 4 to 10 years(dependent upon need and insurance coverage). Dr.Shaughnessy regularly checks sealed teeth and will repair them at no charge if a problem occurs within the first two years.