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Dental Sealants

Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Dental sealants are one part of a child’s total preventive dental care. Dental sealants cover the grooves on these chewing surfaces with a safe plastic coating, protecting hard-to-clean areas from decay-causing food particles and bacteria.

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings used to fill deep grooves and pits in the chewing surfaces of molar and pre-molar teeth. The first molars usually come into the mouth when a child is about 6 years old. Second molars appear at about age 12. The sealant works best if applied soon after the teeth have erupted, before they have a chance to decay. We also recommend dental sealants for adult teeth that have not had restorative work.

Applying sealants is easy. The process doesn’t require drilling or removing tooth structure. We first clean the tooth and apply a preparation solution to roughen the surface. The sealant material is then painted on and cured with a special dental light. It takes about a minute for the sealant to form a protective shield.

Sealants can last for as long as 10 years. They can be clear, white or slightly tinted, and usually are not visible when a child talks or smiles. Sealants are checked at cleaning visits to make sure they are still intact. We can easily reapply sealant material if needed.