Dental sealants are recommended for most people. There are certain criteria necessary for a dentist or a hygienist to place a sealant.
The most important criterium is that the person who is getting the sealant must have a virgin tooth, which means there is no decay in the tooth, or just a very, very slight incipiency.
An incipiency is the beginning of tooth decay where the decay material has violated the outer surface of the tooth or the enamel and may just start to go into the second layer or doesn’t quite get into the second layer yet. In instances like that, we take an instrument or a burr, and we rough up that surface and get that decay out of it without going into the second layer of tooth, and then we place the sealant on it. That’s called an invasive sealant and they work really well.
If you’ve had fillings in your mouth, then obviously you can’t place sealants over your fillings.
As a dentist, if you’re fortunate enough to get an individual in your office as their teeth are developing, and you maintain and keep this patient, you can follow their growth pattern and start getting these teeth sealed as soon as they come into the mouth. That would mean obviously that the patient comes in every six months and the parents follow through over time.
We generally start putting sealants in children’s mouths as their mouth and jaw starts to develop, as their teeth come in. For instance, when the six-year molar comes in, the first permanent tooth in the back of the mouth, we put a sealant on, and then as they get older and these other posterior or back teeth start to come in, we seal them all. So generally, from the bicuspids or the side teeth all the way to the back of the mouth, we apply these sealants as the patient comes back and as the patient grows in age until all their permanent teeth are in their mouth.
To conclude yes, they are recommended for most everyone providing they do not have decay in their teeth when they come into the office.