A sealant is a term for a preventive procedure where the grooves in tooth’s surface are sealed with a resin dental material. Most molars (back teeth) have grooves on the biting surfaces and sometimes these grooves extend to the sides of a tooth also. These grooves can trap small bits of food and bacteria, and even perfect brushing techniques may not be able to remove and clean the deepest portions of these grooves. Therefore, cavities frequently develop in these areas.
It is recommended to have any susceptible grooves sealed to prevent cavities. If there is stain or plaque in the grooves, they are first cleaned out with a tiny dental bur prior to being sealed in with dental material. The procedure is quick, painless, and helps to prevent cavities from forming in these grooves.
It is important to note that sealants are not as strong or long-lasting as fillings. Sometimes a sealant may need to be re-applied if it wears down or comes loose over time. It is also important to note that although sealants greatly reduce the incidence of cavities, nothing eliminates the possibility altogether. A diet high in sugars and carbohydrates combined with poor brushing habits can always lead to cavities.