Performed by Jennifer E. New, DDS
A dental sealant is a thin layer of clear plastic that is usually applied to the back teeth (molars) that creates a protective layer for the teeth.
This procedure is typically performed as a preventative technique as the sealant protective layer can stop future decay (cavities) from forming. Although sealants can be applied to adult teeth, this procedure can be very beneficial for teenagers whose adult molars have just erupted. The natural gaps in the tooth are a natural place for food and plaque to collect, and protecting this area can prevent future decay (cavities), pain, loss of a tooth, and expensive procedures to repair the damage.
What to Expect
Applying dental sealant is fast and doesn't cause pain. It involves cleaning the tooth, roughing up the surface of the tooth, drying the tooth, and "painting" on the sealant material using a light to harden the sealant, bonding it to the tooth.
After the Procedure
Dental sealants typically can last up to 10 years, but need to be checked for chipping and cracking through regular dental checkups.