Lesson 17


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Read the text carefully. Pay attention to words in the bold print

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves and fissures on the surfaces of the permanent molars to protect them from tooth decay. Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on chewing surfaces of the permanent molars and therefore they are the most likely to benefit from sealants. Dental sealants are sometimes also used on other permanent teeth if they have grooves or fissures, to help protect these surfaces. In some children, the molars in the primary dentition also have grooves that could benefit from dental sealants and in this situation your dentist or hygienist may recommend dental sealants on the chewing surfaces of these primary teeth.

The first molars usually come into the mouth when a child is about 6 years old. Second molars appear at about age 12. It is best if the sealant is applied soon after the teeth have erupted, before they have a chance to decay.

Applying sealants does not require drilling or removing tooth structure. The process is short and easy. Firstly the tooth surface is thoroughly cleaned with a paste androtating brush by the dentist or hygienist. Next the tooth is washed with water and dried. Then a solution that is acidic is placed on the fissured area of the tooth’s chewing surface for a number of seconds before being rinsed off. This creates small microscopic areas and a fine rougher surface than the surrounding tooth enamel, that can be seen with a microscope. The rough surface and microscopic areas enable the dental sealant to attach to the tooth. After the tooth is dried again, the liquid dental sealant is placed on the tooth and hardened. Dental sealants arehardened by using a light that hardens the dental sealant, or sometimes by using a two-component dental sealant that sets without using a light. Once the dental sealant has hardened it becomes a hard plastic varnish coating, and you can chew on the tooth again.

Sealants can only be seen up close. Sealants can be clear, white, or slightly tinted,and usually are not seen when a child talks or smiles. As with anything new that is placed in the mouth, a child may feel the sealant with the tongue. Sealants, however, are very thin and only fill the pits and grooves of molar teeth. A sealant can last for as long as 5 to 10 years.


acidic – kwaśny 
apply – zastosować 
attach – dołączyć, przyczepić, nakleić 
benefit – skorzystać 
be seen up close – widziany z bliska 
coating – warstwa, powłoka 
erupt – (tutaj) wyrżnąć się 
fissure – bruzda 
groove – rowek, szczelina 
harden – twardnieć, stwardnieć 
last – potrwać, starczyć
primary dentition – zęby mleczne, zęby niedojrzałe
rinse off – spłukać
rotating – obrotowy
rough – szorstki
slightly – nieznacznie, minimalnie
therefore – dlatego też
tinted – barwiony
varnish – z połyskiem

Fill the sentences with the words from the table in correct form

dentition erupt hardened
attach fissure  last
tinted coating


1. Sealant is a protective plastic ____________ on the surface of a healthy permanent molar. 
2. Sealants may sometimes require to be ______________ with curing lights to finish bonding process.
3. Most of the sealants are clear or slightly _____________.
4. If you care for your teeth correctly, the sealant should ___________ up to 10 years.
5. Second molars should _______________ by the age of 12. 
6. Primary teeth, milk or deciduous teeth mean the same as primary _____________. 
7. Sealant _____________ to the roughened surface of the tooth.
8. Both children and adults can ______________ from applying sealants. 
9. Tooth ______________ may collect debris that is why they may contribute to tooth decay.

Match patient’s questions with dentist’s answers



1. Should sealants be put on baby teeth?

A. If it happens, the decay will not spread, because it is sealed off from its food and germ supply.

2. How long do sealants last? 
B. Fluoride is the best defense against tooth decay, so remember about using fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water.
3. What if a small cavity is accidentally covered by a sealant? 

C. Yes, you should do it if your child’s baby’s teeth have grooves and fissures.

4. Besides sealants, are there other ways to prevent tooth decay?



D. No, it isn’t. It doesn’t require drilling. It’s completely painless and quite simple.

5. Is the sealant placing procedure painful? E. At least 5 years. 

Put the procedure of dental sealant application in order

A. A solution is put on the tooth that makes the surface a little rough. ______
B. The tooth is rinsed and dried again and new cotton is put around it. ______
C. The tooth is cleaned. __1___ 
D. The sealant hardens in a few seconds. ______
E. The tooth is dried, and cotton is put around the tooth so it stays dry. ______
F. The sealant is applied. ______
G. Occasionally curing light may be used to finish the bonding process. ______

Complete the crossword puzzles


1. A waxed or unwaxed thread used to remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth and under the gums.

2. The mineral necessary for healthy teeth.

3. Thin plastic coating that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay.

4. Another word for mouth rinse.

5. Licensed dental professional who carries out procedures such as scaling and polishing teeth, and applying topical fluoride and fissure sealants.

Lesson 17 answers Lesson 17 answers