Dental sealants are placed to prevent tooth decay. A dental sealant is a thin material that is painted on the chewing surfaces of the permanent molars and premolars (back teeth), where decay occurs most often.  The sealant quickly bonds into the pits and fissures (depressions and grooves) of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.

Pits and fissures are often times difficult to keep clean because a toothbrush bristle cannot reach into them. The sealant acting as a protective shield over pits and fissures helps keep the plaque and food out, thus decreasing the chances of decay.

Placing a dental sealant is quick, and there is no discomfort. First, the dentist or assistant conditions the chewing surface to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. Next they apply the sealant to the enamel. As long as the sealant remains intact, it will help protect the tooth from decay. Sealants normally hold up well and can last for years.