The term ‘dental sealant’ or ‘tooth sealant’ refers to a plastic resin that a dentist bonds into the grooves of the chewing surface of a tooth as a means of helping to prevent the formation of tooth decay.
Tooth decay is caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque. In general, the longer dental plaque remains on a tooth’s surface the more likely it will be able to form a cavity. The idea behind brushing teeth is that dental plaque that has accumulated on a tooth’s surface is scrubbed off. Some teeth however, related to aspects associated with their anatomy, are harder to clean than others.
By bonding plastic resin, the dental sealant, into the grooves of a tooth, a dentist can create a tooth surface that is smoother. There are no longer any locations on the chewing surface of the tooth that the bristles of a toothbrush can’t access and clean. Since dental plaque can be removed more easily and effectively, there is much less of a chance that tooth decay will form.