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When to use sealants

The best time to put a pit and fissure sealant in the child's mouth is when the first molar erupts and before it gets attacked by caries the molar is already sealed.

Your dentist would be the best guide to advise you. Not all the children and all molars would require sealant, but only the ones with deep fissures and grooves.

The sealant material is mostly tooth coloured but can be tinted. During the regular dental check up the intactness of the sealant is checked . Your role could be informing the dentist or remind him/her about the sealant, because if it is tooth coloured it may escape his/her eyes.

Commonly used sealants

Typical historical and current uses for sealants include: -

  • Prior to 1950, oil- and resin-based caulks were the most common building joint sealants; typically used in bearing masonry construction; these were not considered elastomeric sealants due to their limited movability.
  • More elastic sealants were used after 1950 due to the popularity of curtain wall construction, which tends to move more than masonry construction.
  • Polysulfide sealants : First widely used elastomeric sealant.
  • Silicone sealants : First developed in the 1950s as two- component products; first silicone building sealant (one component) was developed by Dow Corning about 1960; typically used for nonporous surfaces with a high factor of movement; common in metal and glass cladding systems.
  • Silicone sealants were also used for structural joints in storefronts in place of mullions; this was common in the 1960s.
  • Butyl sealants: available in construction in the mid-1950s.
  • Acrylic sealants : Available in the 1920s; first acrylic sealant for buildings developed by Tremco Manufacturing Company in 1958; typically used in small-scale construction under conditions requiring limited movement.
  • Urethane sealants : Typically used in joints requiring abrasion resistance; first ones were multicomponent types; typically used for porous surfaces with a high factor of movement such as cladding joints.
  • Latex sealants : Available in the 1960s; typically used in light building construction and residential construction under conditions requiring limited movement.
  • Isobutyl-based sealants : Typically used for glazing joints.
  • Sealants are commonly used in joints between individual stone or metal panels, between stone panels and flashing, at expansion and coping joints in masonry, around window and door openings, and in joints at horizontal surfaces.
  • Butt-joints are the most commonly used, but other types include fillet joints, lap joints, glazing beads, and glazing heel beads.

Advantages of sealants

Properly applied, sealants are very effective in preventing decay in pits and fissures. Even early decay appears to stop when covered with a sealant, because decay-causing bacteria are unable to survive when cut off from their food supply.

  • The application of a sealant is quick, easy and painless. No drilling or freezing are required.
  • A properly placed sealant will last for about as long as a typical amalgam filling. Even if a sealant is damaged or lost, it is easily repaired or replaced.
  • Sealants are safe for use on everyone’s teeth, from young children to adults. Minimally invasive, safe and effective preventive procedure.
  • In addition to being an effective preventive measure, sealants cost less than having a cavity filled.
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Indian Dental Association
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