Prevents Decay in permanent teeth
Dental sealants are thin, plastic films bonded to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth–molars and premolars–and are highly effective in the prevention of tooth decay (caries, cavities). Dental sealants are particularly effective on the back teeth, as the back teeth contain more hard-to-reach pits and grooves that serve as a host to food debris and bacteria. Dental sealants are effective because sealants act as a physical barrier to decay and bacteria, in most cases, they provide 100 percent protection – with the most important variable being how well the dental sealant adheres to the teeth. In addition, research has shown that sealants actually stop cavities when placed on top of a slightly decayed tooth. This action seals off the supply of nutrients to the bacteria that causes the cavity. The dental sealant becomes ineffective when all or part of the bond between the tooth and the sealant is broken.
(Obtained from wexner medical center; website: http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/patientcare/healthcare_services/dental_care)