Dental Sealants

A dental sealant is a protective coating of tooth-colored resin material applied to the grooves of the teeth. Dental sealants prevent tooth decay by sealing off the deeper grooves where bacteria lives and which cannot be effectively cleaned with a toothbrush.


The natural anatomy of the teeth includes very deep pits and grooves that are often impossible to reach with the bristles of a toothbrush, and therefore can make a patient prone to tooth decay even with excellent home care. Some patients have deeper groove anatomy in their teeth than others – which can increase their risk of decay. Sealants can be applied to any tooth with deep groove anatomy, that has never had a cavity or existing restorations. Currently, sealants are the standard of care in children and are typically applied as soon as the permanent molars erupt in childhood. Adults who have never had sealants applied as children, or adults whose sealants have chipped or come off since childhood are also candidates who can benefit from this procedure.


 Sealants are usually placed in a single visit:

  • No numbing is required for this procedure, since it does not involve any drilling.
  • The hygienist or dentist will first place suction and cotton near the tongue and cheek to isolate the area from saliva, as a dry field is necessary to ensure the materials used are retained properly in the tooth.
  • Etchant gel is applied first into the grooves, which roughens the enamel enough to allow the sealant material to stick. The etchant gets rinsed with water, then dried.
  • The sealant material gets applied with a thin tipped applicator into the grooves.
  • A curing light is shined on over the tooth to allow the liquid to immediately harden.
  • The dentist or hygienist will check your bite to ensure it feels normal, and will make adjustments if it’s necessary to remove some of the sealant material.


 The best way to care for dental sealants is the same as caring for natural teeth. Proper brushing, flossing, and a regular professional cleaning and checkup at the dentist office will ensure the sealant’s integrity and longevity. Try to avoid habits like ice chewing, as constant exposure to chewing hard materials can cause the sealant to break or fall off.


Sealants tend to be more prone to wear and tear than a traditional filling since they are applied OVER a tooth and not INSIDE a tooth, so it’s normal for a person’s bite or chewing forces to eventually remove some of the material. The sealants get evaluated at each checkup and if some of the material is gone, it can easily be reapplied when necessary. If a patient clenches or grinds their teeth, this can lessen the prognosis of sealants remaining intact (as well as their natural enamel) and the patient should discuss options of a night guard to protect their teeth.


 Most dental plans provide coverage for dental sealants under the preventative category. As such, they are normally fully covered, but often only up to the age of 18 years old. The office of Dr. Mazen Natour will handle all insurance matters for its patients. Please call us if you have any questions about your coverage.