Sealants are a painless preventative to help prevent tooth decay. They are recommended for all children and cavity prone adults. The tooth is etched, or roughened, so the sealant material will bond to the surface. The material is a liquid, milky in color and will flow in to the grooves of the teeth. A violet colored light is used to harden the material. This provides a seal, much like polyurethane seals wood from water. The sealants through time may loosen or crack. They can easily be replaced.
Sealants are used to help protect the teeth from decay. The dental sealant is a thin coating usually applied to the fissures (grooves) of the back teeth. Even though plaque and food particles can be removed from the smooth surfaces of the teeth by brushing and flossing, it can be difficult to get all the food particles out of the depressions and grooves of the tooth. The sealant forms a protective shield over the enamel of the tooth by bonding into the depressions and grooves of the tooth, adding an extra protection for the tooth.