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The application of a thin plastic coating or sealant on the chewing surfaces of the teeth toward the back of the mouth have been shown to be very effective in helping to prevent decay. First the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, and the sealant material is then painted into the pits and grooves of the tooth. A light is used to cure the sealant into place, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth. This is a painless procedure that does not require anesthetic.
Children and teens are obvious candidates for sealants, and typically sealants are applied to the permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. In this way, the dental sealants can help protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6-14. Adults without decay can also benefit from sealants.
Sealants can last up to 10 years, but need to be checked for chipping or wear at regular dental checkups, and can be replaced as necessary. Visit Dr. Michele Chalmers, D.D.S., California Bay Area female dentist, to talk about your treatment options.