A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.
Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.
Dr. Skufca has been providing sealants free of charge to his patients aged 16 and under as a community service for over 10 years. There are typically 16 teeth which can be sealed. Some offices charge $50 per sealant. We encourage all of our younger patients to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to help prevent tooth decay and enjoy a substantial financial savings.
When to have sealants applied:
Children – As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear is the best time to start.
Pre-teen/Teenagers - once the second set of molars (12 year molars) appear. At that time, we will check to see if the first set of sealants needs to be reapplied and do so, if necessary.
What do sealants involve?
Sealants are easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist and the process takes only a couple of minutes per tooth.
The teeth to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned and then surrounded with cotton to keep the area dry. A special solution is applied to the enamel surface to help the sealant bond to the teeth. The teeth are then rinsed and dried. Sealant material is carefully painted onto the enamel surface to cover the deep grooves or depressions. Depending on the type of sealant used, the material will either harden automatically or with a special curing light.
Proper home care, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new sealants.