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Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities. They are a plastic-like material painlessly applied to the chewing surface ( top ) of the back premolars and molars - this is where dental decay occurs most often. Thorough brushing and flossing will help remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of teeth, but toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the deep depressions and grooves of the back teeth. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by "blocking out" plaque and food.
Sealants are easy for the dental hygienist to apply. The sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel and is hardened using a painless special UV light. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. There are no shots ( numbing ) needed to place the sealant, and the sealant acts as a barrier, protecting the teeth from plaque and acids. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and may last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and have the dental hygienist reapply them when necessary. The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are the most obvious candidates to have sealants placed. The good news is most insurance companies cover dental sealant placement for children under the age of 16-18, as they know it is cheaper to prevent decay, than having to pay for expensive dental fillings later.
Dental Sealants for Kids. This website is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for Dental or Medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information on this website does not create a patient-dentist relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. By visiting this site you agree to all its terms and conditions, which may from time to time be changed or supplemented by Dr. James J. Herget listed in the Disclaimer. If you do not agree to these terms and conditions, you should not enter this site.