Sealants are protective filling that goes on top of usually permanent molars. Unlike most of the permanent dentition, molars do have significant grooves where bacteria can be trapped that can lead to caries development. To fill the grooves and gap on the top surface of teeth, Sealants are put on to cover them. It is a non-invasive procedure that requires no anesthesia. It is a very simple procedure that does not cause any pain.
What is the benefit of sealants?
Following is a statement from ADA [https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sealants]
“Sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. This is especially important when it comes to your child’s dental health. In October 2016, the Centers for Disease Control released a report on the importance of sealants for school-aged children, of which only 43% of children ages 6-11 have. According to the CDC, “school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.”
How does Sealant work?
The tooth is cleaned and rinsed and dried to prepared for the procedure. Then etch solution is put on the surface to make the surface rough so the Sealants can be attached. Then a thin layer of Sealant is put on and blue light cured.
When do I get Sealants?
Usually, the first molar comes in around age 6 and the second molar comes in around age 12. Therefore first molars are usually sealed around age 6 and second molars are sealed around age 12. It is best to put the protective layer as soon as the tooth fully erupts with no caries. However, very small incipient caries can also be Sealed and monitored over time.