2005-05-12 / Medical

Sealants Recommended By Most Dentists

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Dental Health

Gary S. Rafal, D.D.S.

Deep pits and fissures may develop cavities in teeth of people in communities with fluoridated water. The purpose of sealants is to prevent or arrest dental decay in these areas. Because molars are the most likely to develop cavities, many dentists recommend sealing the chewing surfaces where fissures are open. If pits and fissure cavities have not developed by the late teens, they are very unlikely to decay in the future. That is why sealants are recommended only during the first few years after the eruption of teeth. Since all the permanent teeth except third molars have erupted by age 15, sealants are usually not done after age 18. After eruption, wisdom teeth will also benefit. The seal is so effective that bacteria cannot enter the tooth. Bacteria that have already penetrated through a tiny hole in the fissure will be sealed in and denied the nutrients of the oral fluids and decay will stop. Sealants have proven to be an easy and effective way to eliminate or lessen dental decay in children.

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