A sealant is a protective coating that is placed on the surface of the permanent molars. First we gently clean the top of the tooth, then we gently add the protective layer. Afterwards the teeth are polished. Sealants are painless. There is no anesthesia needed. You can return to school and begin eating right away.
Are sealants for everybody? Who should get sealants?
Sealants are a procedure that we do for children right after their molar teeth have erupted. Sealants are placed on the first permanent molars when they come in around six years of age and also on the second permanent molars when they come in around twelve years of age.
What’s the difference between a sealant and a filling?
A filling is done when someone has a cavity (eg- the tooth has been weakened and bacteria have started to enter he tooth). When somebody gets a filling, first you have to remove all the decay and damaged tooth structure. Then you have to replace the diseased tooth that the cavity damaged with a filling material.
A sealant is done before any cavities can happen. You can think of it like putting on a jacket on a winter day before you go outside so that you never get cold in the first place. Teeth have pits and fissures on their top surfaces in which food accumulates when you chew and gets stuck over time. This trapped food very often causes cavities on the tops of teeth, especially in children. Sealants protect the tops of the teeth, preventing any food from getting caught and making it much harder to get a cavity in the first place. Sealants are not a substitute for good brushing and flossing, but they go a long way in preventing cavities.
How long do sealants take?
About two minutes per tooth. We allot extra time for each sealant appointment so that we can take our time and make sure our patients are comfortable.
Are there any special instructions for getting sealants?
Nope. It is a quick, easy, and pain-free procedure. You can go back to school and/or start eating right away.