A dental sealant is a safe material that is painted on to the chewing surfaces of the posterior teeth (molars and premolars) and serves as a physical barrier to germs and food that may cause tooth decay. Although sealants are primarily designed for children, adults who have a history of active decay should consider having sealants placed on the posterior (back) teeth when recommended by the doctor. Even if you have not had a cavity for a long time, consider the application of a sealant as preventive measure. Perhaps you may never develop decay on the unsealed surface; but, just as you insure your home against destruction by natural disaster, a sealant insures the tooth surface from decay.
Sealants can last up to fifteen years with proper oral home care and regular recare visits. They are 100% effective in reducing tooth decay as long as they remain intact. Sealants not only prevent cavities but can also arrest the progress of decay. Investing in sealants can very well save you hundreds to thousands of dollars in the future by minimizing the need for more costly procedures.
Sealants are not intended to replace regular recare visits. The condition of your sealants will be evaluated at each recare visit to ensure the seal has not been compromised. A sealant will not function as intended when the seal has been broken and early detection will allow for repairs that will continue to prevent the development of decay.
We encourage you to ask your hygienist about sealants during your next recare visit.