Sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting your teeth from decay. A sealant is a protective plastic coating, which is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay. Sealants are only applied to the back teeth - the molars and premolars. These are the teeth that have ‘pits' (small hollows) and ‘fissures' (grooves) on their biting surfaces. Some teeth naturally have deep grooves which will need to be sealed; others have shallow ones which will not need sealing. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution, and dried. The liquid sealant is then applied and allowed to set hard - usually by shining a bright light onto it.
The sealant forms a smooth, protective barrier by covering all the little grooves and dips in the surface of the tooth. Dental decay easily starts in these grooves if they are not sealed.