The rough, uneven surface of the premolars and molars makes their surfaces susceptible to decay. Bacteria can get trapped in the grooves where chewing occurs, and it can be difficult to remove with normal brushing. Sealants make it easier to keep the back teeth healthy and clean.
Dental sealants are made of plastic materials and are placed as a coating on the back teeth. They are an effective preventive treatment for the premolars and molars due to their anatomical structure. The grooves on the chewing surfaces, or “fissures,” are susceptible to trapping bacteria. If left untreated, that bacteria can build up and cause decay, cavities or other serious issues. Sometimes, normal brushing isn’t enough to remove the bacteria from the fissures, so sealants can be placed over the surfaces of the molars to smooth them out, thus preventing bacteria from getting trapped. The smooth surfaces are also easier to clean.
Sealants are applied in only one visit. Your dentist will clean the teeth thoroughly, then roughen the surface with an etching solution to make it easier for the sealant to bond. Once the tooth is dried, the dentist will apply the sealant coating and let it bond. Once it is bonded and dried, your dentist will check your bite to make sure there aren’t any abnormalities. You can resume your normal diet and routine immediately.
While sealants are used most often on our younger patients, adults who are at high risk of decay can also benefit from this treatment. To learn more, contact our friendly staff at (301) 563-9508 to schedule an appointment with one of our dental professionals.