A dental sealant is a plastic film (similar to a tooth-colored filling) that is applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth. Children, with newly erupted permanent teeth, receive the greatest benefit from sealants. Studies show that the majority of cavities in children begin in the chewing surfaces of their back teeth, where food and bacteria become trapped and difficult to clean out. Sealants block these food particles and bacteria from sticking to the chewing surface and causing decay. Adults with deep grooves in the biting surfaces of their back teeth can also benefit from sealant use.
Sealants are non-invasive, safe to use, and cost-effective. They are easy to apply and anesthetic is not needed. While sealants hold up well to chewing forces, they do not last forever. Over time, a sealant can wear away from the tooth and may require replacement. During regular dental visits sealants can be checked to ensure they are intact and properly protecting the tooth.
Studies have shown that when paired with fluoride use, regular dental care, proper brushing, and a healthy diet, properly applied sealants are 100% effective at preventing cavities. Dr. McEntire, Dr. Marek, and the dental hygienists at Hutto Premier Dentistry evaluate every patient for sealant use and are always happy to further discuss the many benefits of dental sealants.