Dental sealants are a preventive coating that is usually placed on children’s newly erupted permanent molars. Not every new molar needs to have a sealant placed. No drilling or numbing is necessary to place a sealant. Sealants are made out of the same material as composite fillings – they are just runnier.
Molars that benefit the most have deep “V-shaped” valleys. These deep valleys catch food and are too narrow for saliva to rinse them out. Eventually the food that is caught in the valleys of the teeth provide nourishment for the cavity-causing bacteria. The sealant material is more fluid so it runs into the deep valleys causing them to become more shallow and “U-shaped.” Thus, the tooth is more cleanable. Just because a tooth has a sealant doesn’t mean that it’s cavity-proof. Sealants should be checked by a dentist regularly to be sure that a cavity isn’t forming under the sealant.