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Sealants act as a preventive role to prevent decay in the ‘grooves’ and ‘pits’ of the tooth. You could think of it like a layer on the tooth that prevents the entry of plaque, bacteria and fermentable food (eg sugars, starches) into the fissures.
“What are some recommendations regarding sealants for teeth at the back?”
However placing sealants is not necessary for every single patient. The general indications of sealants are mainly for:
- Patients with high caries risk (ie they either have multiple decay in their teeth, or have a past history of multiple teeth decay in their baby/adult teeth)
- Patients with special healthcare needs (rationale being they may not be able to upkeep their oral hygiene as well)
- Teeth with deep grooves that are difficult to clean well
“Why do dentists not inform patients about this?”
Therefore, your dentist would first make an assessment of your general oral condition and habits before discussing with you the need for sealants.
Also, as with any filling material, sealants are prone to wear and tear over time, with the possible need for replacements in future. Thus there is a need to weigh the benefits for each patient, as there may not be added benefits in doing so for some cases. eg) in a patient with no decay in their teeth at all, and have very good oral hygiene, and have been decay free for many years.
Hope this helps!(: