Naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth convert the carbohydrates and sugars you eat into tooth eroding acids. These acids, over time, can cause cavities and infection in your teeth. Because the chewing surfaces of your back teeth are rough and uneven and have small pits and grooves, food and bacteria can easily be trapped. This leaves your teeth at high risk for decay. The dentist flows the dental sealants into these pits and grooves and bonds them to the tooth structure. By filling in these pits and grooves, food and bacteria will not be trapped, and there is a smaller chance of decay. Tooth sealants can save you money in the long run by avoiding fillings and crowns needed to restore decayed teeth.
Generally, the hygienist is the staff member who places the sealants. No anesthetic is required for this procedure. While sealants are most ofter done on children, patients of all ages can find benefit. Sealants are definitely beneficial to children who may not focus as much on their oral hygiene as they should.