What are Dental Sealants?

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A dental sealant is a slim layer of plastic resin which can be used to protect tooth decay and cavities by covering the rear teeth. Sealants are easy to apply and the procedure involves virtually no discomfort whatsoever. The use of sealants provides a safe and highly effective way to protect the rear teeth whilst also being discreet. In most cases, the best candidates for sealants are teens or children over the age of five. Sealants have the greatest effect if adhered straight after the first molars have penetrated into the mouth and will provide an effective shield against the bacteria which is responsible for cavities. Whilst popular with dentists for use with children, sealants can also be used on adults to effectively prevent the build up of bacteria on the teeth.

The sealants themselves are created using an ultra slim plastic which, when applied, will fill the small pits and pockets in your tooth and prevent plaque from reaching them. Because they are fixed on the back of your teeth, sealants are very discreet and many clinics now offer the option of colouring your sealant to match your natural tooth colour. Once in place, sealants will provide an extra defence against the build up of plaque and bacteria which young children are particularly vulnerable to. As mentioned, sealants are very easy and quick to apply; your dentist will simply clean the surface of the target tooth before placing a roughing solution and painting the sealant onto the tooth. Painting it on in this way allows the sealant to match the shape of your tooth before it is hardened with a specialised light source. Once in place sealants tend to last about five years although much longer times have been reported.

Read more in the Dental Treatment Information Guide »