Sealants consist of a plastic coating that is painted on the uneven chewing surface of the tooth to keep germs and other particles from causing tooth decay. Commonly applied to the permanent molars soon after they have emerged from the gums, sealants are a preventative measure that help to protect the teeth from damage. Though sealants are not permanent, they can last anywhere from five to ten years.
The sealant procedure is quick, and can be performed during a regular preventative care visit. Once the teeth that will receive the sealants have been thoroughly cleaned, we put a gel on the chewing surface of the tooth. After a short period of time, this gel is rinsed off. We then paint the plastic sealant material on the tooth. When the sealant dries (normally within a minute or two), it forms a protective barrier against the bacteria that cause decay.