Why are dental sealants placed on teeth?
Tooth decay is caused by the white film that forms on a person s teeth, dentist s refer to this film as “plaque.” The longer plaque remains on a tooth s surface the more likely it will be able to create a cavity. The idea behind brushing teeth is that the plaque that has accumulated on a tooth s surface is scrubbed off. Some teeth however, because of their anatomy, are harder to effectively clean than others.
Some back teeth, especially molars, are difficult for a person to clean because the grooves in the chewing part of the tooth are deep and narrow. Because some plaque is not cleaned off a cavity can develop.
Dentists can combat this situation by bonding plastic into the grooves of a tooth. The net result is that the surface of the tooth is somewhat flatter and smoother. Since plaque can be removed more easily and effectively, there is much less chance that decay will start.