What is it?
Plastic resin placed on the biting surfaces of molars to prevent bacteria from attacking the enamel and causing caries (cavities).
What are the benefits?
Sealants act as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. Sealants protect vulnerable areas, like depressions and grooves in the teeth, by "sealing out" plaque and food.
How is it done?
First, the tooth that is to be sealed is thoroughly cleaned and dried. Cotton or another absorbent material is put around the tooth to keep it dry. An acid solution is put on the chewing surface of the tooth to roughen it up, which helps the sealant bond to the tooth. The tooth is then rinsed and dried. Sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.