Dr. Sue Hollinsworth


Sealants are thin, plastic coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of back teeth to help prevent decay.

The most important reason for having sealants put on teeth is to prevent decay. Fluoride in toothpasteand in drinking water protects the smooth surfaces of teeth, but the back teeth, or molars, need extra protection .Their chewing surfaces have small pits and grooves where food and bacteria can get stuck .They can stay there a long time because toothbrush bristles can't get into these small crevices.Sealants fill in these uneven surfaces, creating a protective shield.

Ideally, children should get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as they come in---before decay attacks the teeth. Teenagers and young adults who are prone to decay may also benefit from sealants.Sealants can last several years (we guarantee them for three years)but they need to be checked at regular dental check ups to make sure they are not chipped or worn away. They can be repaired by adding more sealant material to them.

Getting sealants put on is simple and painless. The tooth is cleaned then cotton is put around it so it stays dry. An etchant solution is put on the surface of the tooth to make it a little rougher so the sealant will stick to it. The tooth is then rinsed and dried and new cotton is placed..The sealant resin is painted on the tooth in liquid form. A blue light is directed over the liquid and this hardens the sealant in just a few seconds.The tooth is then rinsed and the bite is checked. There is no waiting to eat or drink.