A sealant is a coating of plastic applied to back teeth (the molars and premolars) in order to protect them from decay.
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Fissure sealant creates a protective layer which stops food and germs from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth, where they could cause decay.
When the dentist examines your teeth, they will look for pits and fissures in the back teeth. The dentist will then advise you which teeth, if any, would benefit from an application of sealant.
Applying sealant to a tooth is a quick and painless process, taking just a few minutes for each tooth. First of all, the dentist will clean the tooth thoroughly. Then a special solution is applied to the tooth to prepare it. Once this is dry, the dentist will apply liquid sealant, using a blue-light to harden it to the surface of the tooth. Bacteria and food will be unable to penetrate this seal, ensuring the tooth is protected from decay.
Fissure sealants normally last for many years, but the dentist will check them regularly to ensure the seal is intact. They will wear down over time, and may occasionally need to be resealed or replaced in order to prevent decay occurring under the sealant.