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Sealants are thin layers of white resin composite that protect the grooves of molars and premolars in order to prevent the formation of cavities.
The molars and premolars have recesses on their biting surface that are called pits and fissures. These areas are vulnerable to tooth decay because food debris stick into them and allow the bacteria to attack the tooth and form cavities. The objective of the sealant is to fill these small grooves and eliminate these “traps” by closing them tightly so that the toothbrush can effectively scrub the entire surface of the tooth.
By forming a fist with your fingers, you will have the representation of the chewing surface of a molar. In fact, the position of your fingers on the top of your fist represent the grooves and depressions of the tooth surface. A “pit” is the larger space at the bottom of a groove, it is not easily accessible with the bristles of your toothbrush.
Sealants can be applied after the eruption of the first molars (around age 6) and the second molars (around age 12).
Combined with healthy dental hygiene habits, sealants reduce significantly the incidence of tooth decay.
Therefore, this treatment is recommended as a preventive measure as soon as the premolars and the permanent molars come through. Sealants, although resistant, can fall off or show signs of chips or wear and should be checked by your dentist during routine exams.
The re-applying of a layer of resin may be necessary. Sealants allow keeping teeth healthy and intact as long as possible.
This treatment does not require anesthesia and causes no pain. The duration of this treatment depends on the number of teeth to be sealed and is generally quite fast. Dental sealants are found in the form of liquid resin and their application can be done by the dental hygienist.
Here are the treatment steps: