A dental sealant is an acrylic-like material that helps shield out decay-causing bacteria from the chewing surfaces of back teeth. We base our diagnosis and recommendation for dental sealants on the patient's susceptibility to tooth decay and how the teeth were shaped when they originally formed below the gum. Though there is no specific age at which sealants are indicated, often we will recommend that the best time to apply them is when the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear.

How Do Sealants Help Prevent Decay?

Sealant material forms a protective barrier by bonding to tooth surfaces and covering natural depressions and grooves (called pits and fissures) in the teeth. More than 75 per- cent of dental decay begins in the pit and fissure areas of the back teeth. Combined with proper home care and regular dental visits, sealants are extremely effective in preventing tooth decay.

Are Sealants Suitable For All Teeth?

Sealants are applied only to pit and fissure areas of specific teeth. Unfortunately, they cannot be applied to the surfaces in between teeth, where daily flossing is recommended to prevent decay.