Pit & Fissure Sealants

Sealants are a clear, acrylic-like material that helps shield out decay-causing bacteria from the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. It is recommended that sealants be applied to childs's primary (baby) molars by the age of three of four years. Once the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear, it is best to apply sealants as soon as possible. As a child's most cavity-prone years continue until the mid-teens, the premolars should also be sealed as they appear.

How Can Sealants Prevent Decay?

Sealant material bonds to the chewing surface of the back teeth, forming a protective barrier covering the pits and fissures (depressions and grooves) of the chewing surfaces. Sealants are an intermediate preventive step in delaying or preventing tooth decay on these areas of back teeth.

How Are Sealants Applied?

Illustration: The tooth is cleaned.

1. The tooth is cleaned.
Illustration: The tooth is dried, and cotton is put around the tooth so it stays dry.

2. The tooth is dried, and cotton is put around the tooth so it stays dry.
Illustration: A solution is put on the tooth that makes the surface a little rough.

3. A solution is put on the tooth that makes the surface a little rough. (It is easier for the sealant to stick to a slightly rough surface.)
Illustration: The tooth is rinsed and dried.

4. The tooth is rinsed and dried. Then new cotton is put around the tooth so it stays dry.
Illustration: The sealant is applied in liquid form and hardens in a few seconds.

5. The sealant is applied in liquid form and hardens in a few seconds.
Illustration: The sealant is in place.

6. The sealant is in place.

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