Our goal is for our patients to require the least amount of dental treatment possible. Children who enter adulthood with the fewest restored teeth generally have the lowest risk of future problems.
Sealants can dramatically reduce the number of cavities a child might develop throughout their childhood. On the chewing surface of molars, deep grooves run into the center of the teeth. Under a microscope, these crevices might look like a deep canyon. In reality, most of them are narrower than a single toothbrush bristle, but that is still wide enough for bacteria to hide. It’s easy to see how cavities can form in such a perfect hideout.
If the grooves in permanent molars are sealed at a young age, the risk of decay decreases dramatically. Fortunately, this procedure can be done quickly and without any discomfort or anesthetic. The sealant material creates a smooth surface, filling in the grooves and making the biting surface more manageable for little hands to keep clean. A resin material is flowed over the grooves and is sealed quickly with a blue curing light. Within a few minutes, your child’s teeth are protected against cavities.
Sealants only last a few years and may need to be repaired or replaced periodically. But research confirms a 90% reduction in tooth decay along the chewing surface in sealed molars. This cost-effective, simple step may help your child enter adulthood with fewer fillings.