Sealants consist of a plastic material and is placed on the chewing surface of the back teeth. The premolars and the molars the teeth to which it is placed and this would help protect them from acids and bacteria which contribute to the tooth decay.
Most of the people know that flossing and brushing thoroughly would help remove plaque and remaining food particles from the smooth surfaces of the teeth, but toothbrushes alone cannot reach all the way into the grooves and depressions to extract all plaque and food particles. Fluoride is the best option here and it helps prevent tooth decay and protects all the surfaces of the teeth. These dental sealants would add an extra protection for the pitted and grooved areas.
Dental sealants are usually referred to the plastic coatings placed on the chewing surface of the molars and premolars. This chewing surface of the back teeth have grooves known as fissures which make them vulnerable to decay. These fissures can be difficult to clean as they are deep and can sometimes be narrower than a single bristle of a toothbrush. So now the plaque gets accumulated in these areas and the acid from the bacteria would attack the enamel thus causing the formation of cavities. Fluoride would help prevent decay and the dental sealants can provide an extra protection by covering the smooth surface.
The very first dental sealant to be placed is usually on the fissure of the first molar tooth only after the chewing surface of the tooth has erupted beyond the gum. This tooth would grow behind the baby teeth. The dental sealant will protect the tooth if the chewing surfaces of the teeth are completely sealed. The chewing surfaces of the teeth can be sealed after which the molars and premolars have completely erupted.
Initially, the tooth surface is thoroughly cleaned with a rotating brush and a paste by your hygienist or a dentist. The tooth is then washed with water and dried. A solution which is acidic is then placed on the fissured areas of the chewing surface for a few seconds before being washed off. This would create a small microscopic area and fine rough surface than the tooth enamel, which can be seen with the help of a microscope. The microscopic areas and the rough surface would help the dental sealant to get attached to the tooth. A liquid dental sealant is placed on the tooth and then it is hardened after the tooth gets dried again. Dental sealants get hardened by using a two-component dental sealant which sets without using a light or by using a light beam which helps in hardening the sealant. It then becomes a hard plastic varnish coating and you will be able to chew on the tooth again.
Since the 1970s, the dental sealants have been proved effective. It can last many years and studies have shown that they are effective in preventing tooth decay.