Dr. Shi's Dental Office


The back teeth (premolar and molars) can be difficult to clean because the grooves (the tooth's pits and fissures) on their chewing surface are deep and narrow. When that happens, you are at risk of tooth decay.

Tooth sealant is a plastic bonding material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to act as a barrier to prevent the decay from teeth.

Sealants are usually applied to children's teeth as a preventative measure during the years of most likely tooth decay. However, adults' teeth can also be sealed. It is more common to seal permanent teeth rather than baby teeth. We will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.

Sealants generally last from 2 to 3 years. Any sealants come off sooner than 2 to 3 years should not necessarily be considered failures. Any length of time a sealant remains in place is a time period during which a tooth is protected. If you notice that a portion, or even the entire sealant, has come off you should let us know. During your regular check up we also will evaluate the status of your sealants.

How do we place the sealants?

  • Clean the tooth surface.
  • Etch the sealant area.
  • Wash the etching gel off and then dry the tooth.
  • Apply the sealant into grooves of the tooth.
  • Light cure the sealant.
  • Check the biting.

Precautions you should take after your sealant:

  • Since the sealant plastic is now fully hardened, normal eating and drinking can be maintained.
  • Twice a day brushing is very important to maximize the benefits of the sealants.
  • Sealants should be checked during periodic dental visits to determine if reapplication is necessary.

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