What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are clear, plastic materials that are applied to the grooves of the back premolars and molars, where most cavities in adolescents are found. Sealants are typically put on the teeth of adolescents with molars that have deep grooves.

What Do Sealants Do?

A sealant is a barrier that protects the molars against food, plaque, and acid that can lead to tooth decay. When bacteria that causes cavities is combined with leftover food particles in your mouth, together they produce cavity-causing acids that can create tooth decay. After sealants are put in, they form a sort of raincoat for your teeth and keep harmful bacteria out of setting into them. They provide a cover for the teeth to protect it from undergoing any damage. Sealants can also be used to cover up any signs of early decay in the molars and prevent further damage.

Sealants can also be used to cover up any signs of early decay in the molars and prevent further damage. The ingredients in the sealant cause the acid and bacteria to stop spreading, meaning that the decay stops spreading.

Usually, sealants are a great protection against tooth decay and cavities, but what happens when a cavity begins to form under the sealant, and what can be done to help it?

If A Tooth Decays Under The Sealant, Here’s What Happens:

Since sealants are clear, the dentist can watch the molars and make sure the sealant is doing its job correctly and keeping the decay from spreading. If the sealant fails to perform its job entirely, the decay will increase, and the cavity will worsen. In this case, your dentist will remove the sealant and give the tooth one of several treatment options. If the decay is severe enough, your dentist will drill a hole in the tooth and remove the decayed portion of the tooth, and then use a filling to replace the drilled out part of the tooth. However, if the tooth is completely decomposed and there is no hope, your dentist will have to remove the tooth structure and put in a crown around whatever healthy parts of the tooth remain. The sealant can then be replaced to make sure no decay or cavity happens again.

To stay away from these kinds of scenarios, the best thing to do is to teach your child how to take care of their teeth and have good oral hygiene to prevent ever needing sealants or tooth decaying treatments.

For more information on sealants, cavities, or to schedule a cleaning appointment, contact us today!