Dental sealants are used to prevent tooth decay. The morphology of the human tooth includes deep, thin crevices that form the grooves that are seen with the naked eye. These grooves are smaller than a single bristle of your toothbrush. This is why dental sealants are a valuable way to prevent what dentists call “pit and fissure” decay. They are thin plastic coatings applied to permanent teeth to seal these crevices. The sealant acts as a barrier to tooth decay by physically preventing oral bacteria from collecting in crevices and creating the acid environment that allows tooth decay to develop. The sealants essentially make your tooth easier for your toothbrush to clean. There is no pain involved in applying dental sealants and the process is relatively quick, often requiring no preparation of the tooth at all. The cost of preventing tooth decay with the use of dental sealants is significantly less than treating oral disease once it has developed.