Even the most thorough brushing does not always reach the deepest indentations in the back teeth (molars). Dental sealants fill in these depressions and grooves, creating a smooth surface and successfully preventing the bacterial formation that causes tooth decay and other damage on the biting surfaces of the teeth used for chewing.
In a procedure that takes only a few minutes per tooth, the dentist cleans the tooth and paints the plastic sealant on to the tooth enamel. This coating works like a barrier to prevent plaque from attacking the enamel. A special light may be used to speed the hardening and bonding process. Sealants can help both adults and children, and may be re-applied every few years.