Sealants are liquid coatings that harden on to the chewing surfaces of teeth using a curing light. They are effective in limiting cavities-even on teeth where decay has begun.
The pits and grooves of your teeth are prime areas for opportunistic decay. Even regular brushing sometimes misses or cannot penetrate the smallest trenches on the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
The sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces and are designed to prevent the introduction of bacteria and other debris into the deep crevices on the tops of teeth.
Sealants actually were developed about fifty years ago, but didn't become commonly used until the mid 1970s. Today, sealants are becoming widely popular and effective, with young children being great candidates for preventative measures like sealants (especially on molars) because in many cases, decay has not began.
Sealants are applied by first cleaning the tooth surface. The procedure is followed by "etching" the tooth with a chemical substance, which allows the sealant to better adhere to the tooth surface. After the sealant is applied, a warm light source is directed to the site to promote faster drying. Sealants usually need re-application every five to 10 years.