What is a
A dental sealant is a thin
plastic film painted on the chewing surfaces of
teeth to prevent cavities.
proven that properly applied sealants are
100-percent effective in protecting the tooth
surfaces from cavities. As long as the sealant
remains intact, small food particles and
bacteria that cause cavities cannot penetrate
through or around a sealant. Sealant protection
is reduced or lost when part or all of the bond
between the tooth and sealant is broken.
However, clinical studies have shown that teeth
that have lost sealants are no more susceptible
to tooth decay than teeth that were never
solution is applied to the surface of the tooth,
including the pits and grooves. After 15
seconds, the solution is thoroughly rinsed away
with water. After the site is dried, the sealant
material is applied and allowed to harden,
sometimes by using a special curing light.
Sealant treatment is painless and takes anywhere
from five to 45 minutes to apply, depending on
how many teeth need to be sealed. Sealants must
be applied properly for good retention.
How long will a
last five years, but can last as long as 10
years. One study reported that seven years after
application, an impressive 49 percent of treated
teeth were still completely covered. Sealants
should not be considered permanent. Regular
dental checkups are necessary to monitor the
sealants' bond to the tooth.
receive sealant treatment?
they have newly erupted, permanent teeth,
receive the greatest benefit from sealants. The
chewing surfaces of a child's teeth are most
susceptible to cavities. Surveys show that the
majority of all cavities occur in the narrow
pits and grooves of a child's newly erupted
teeth because food particles and bacteria cannot
be cleaned out. Other patients also can benefit
from sealant placement, such as those who have
existing pits and grooves susceptible to decay.
Research has shown that almost everybody has a
95-percent chance of eventually experiencing
cavities in the pits and grooves of their teeth.
covered by insurance?
for sealant procedures have increased
considerably, especially as companies start to
realize that sealants are a proven preventive
technique. This preventive measure can help
reduce future dental expenses and protect the
teeth from more aggressive forms of treatment.