A dental sealant is actually a thin plastic white coating which is bonded into the grooves and pits of a tooth. Dentists usually refer to them as ‘pit and fissure’ sealants. They are placed on the chewing surface of the teeth. But they can also extend over the sides too, depending on the fissures and pits found there.
Sealants are mainly used to protect teeth from the formation of decay. When compared to the smooth surfaces of a sealant, the tooth’s grooves and pits tend to trap the debris, which places them at risk for cavities. So these dental sealants are placed on tooth’s grooves so that they can prevent the debris to get stored in these pits.
- It is known that around 80% of the tooth decay in school children occurs in fissures and pits.
- These areas will only add up to around 15% of the tooth’s total surface area.
- So the protection can be done to 15% of the total area by a sealant which will substantially lower a child’s overall risk for cavities.
Dental sealants are a very simple and cost-effective measure when compared to a filling.
Sealants are considered to be a preventive measure and not a corrective one.
- The most reliable dental sealants are those which are placed before any sign of a cavity that has a chance to form.
Not all teeth require sealants. Sealants are a useful preventative treatment which needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Your dentist will report to you about what they feel after a thorough examination.