A sealant is a white or clear resin material that is placed on the top of molar or premolar tooth and sometimes on the back surface of a front tooth. It is a preventive procedure intended to seal a tooth's deep groves or fissures where residual food or plaque can get caught and possibly lead to dental decay.
The tooth on the left has deep grooves and fissures. Plaque and residual food debris may adhere to the top of this tooth which may lead to tooth decay.
The tooth on the right has had a sealant applied. Because the top surface is more flat, food debris easily slides off.
- 1. A tooth is first isolated with cotton rolls or sometimes a rubber dam to ensure a dry area.
- 2. An conditioner is then placed on the grooves and fissure of the tooth where the sealant will be applied, allowed to sit for some time and then washed off. The tooth is then dried. This etching conditions the surface of the tooth for the sealant to adhere to.
- 3. The sealant material is then applied to the grooves and fissures and allowed to harden.