Julie M. Russo D.M.D.

Diplomate of the American
Board of Pediatric Dentistry

Sealants

What are sealants?

Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. They are made of a tooth colored resin and are placed on a decay-free tooth to prevent a cavity from forming.

How do they work?

The grooves in permanent molars are narrow and deep. Food and bacteria build up in these crevices, placing your child in danger of tooth decay. Sealants flow into these grooves sealing them off from the elements, which helps decrease the risk of decay in the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.

How long do sealants last?

Research shows that sealants can last for many years if properly cared for. If your child has good oral hygiene and avoids biting hard objects (ice, pencils, pens) sealants will last longer. Dr. Russo will check the sealants during routine dental visits and reapply or repair when necessary.

What is treatment like?

The application of a sealant is quick and comfortable. It takes only one visit. The tooth is first cleaned and dried. The sealant flows into the grooves of the tooth and is hardened with a blue light. Your child will be able to eat immediately after the appointment.

If my child has sealants, can he still get a cavity?

He needs to brush and floss to keep the plaque from all surfaces. He can still get a cavity between the teeth from not flossing where a sealant doesn't cover. The same plaque that causes cavities can eat through a sealant if left there for long periods of time. That's why good brushing and regular dental visits are so important to be sure the sealants do their job.