FAQ About Dental Sealants

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What are dental sealants?

A dental sealant is a plastic barrier painted onto teeth to seal out food and plaque, protecting teeth from decay.

What teeth are dental sealants applied to?

Sealants are applied to the premolars and molars in the back of the mouth. These teeth are more susceptible to decay because they have pits and fissures (depressions and grooves) on the chewing surface which are difficult to clean.

Who can get a dental sealant?

Anyone can get a dental sealant, but it is mostly recommended for children because they are more likely to develop cavities in the premolars and molars.

How are dental sealants applied?

You dentist/hygienist will first clean and dry your teeth. Then they apply an acidic solution to the teeth to roughen the chewing surface, which helps the sealant bond more easily to the enamel. After the teeth are cleaned and dried again, your dentist/hygienist brushes the sealant on and hardens it with a dental light.

Does it hurt to apply dental sealants?

No, you should experience no pain from the application of a dental sealant.

How long does it take to apply a dental sealant?

It only takes a few minutes to apply a sealant.

Are dental sealants very visible?

No, sealants are usually white or colorless.

Are dental sealants expensive?

No, they are an inexpensive way to protect teeth.

How long do dental sealants last?

Usually for several years. Your dentist/hygienist will check the sealant for cracks and wear during your six month visits.

Do I still need to brush and floss my teeth after I get a dental sealant?

Yes, you do. Even though the sealant protects teeth from decay, it does not cover all parts of the teeth or all the teeth in your mouth.