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What are dental sealants?

Teeth have grooves, valleys and pits on the biting surface.  They are designed that way for optimal interlocking with the opposite teeth and food deflection.  But in most teeth, these grooves are too narrow and small for toothbrushes to effectively remove stuck debis.  This can lead to increase cavities; even with proper oral hygiene.  Sealants are plastic resin that bonds to the tooth.  They are placed on the chewing surfaces of the back to protect them from plaque and acids.

Where are sealants placed?

Sealants can be placed on any of the back teeth where the grooves are deep enough.  They are generally placed on the back molars.  Sometimes they're helpful on premolars or bicuspids.  For this Utah dentist, we recommend them for the back two molars. 

Are they just for kids?

They are excellent for kids, especially when the teeth are freshly erupted.  These teeth haven't been damaged by acids and bacteria.  They are not recommended if stain is already present on the teeth.  The stain would need to be removed first.  But they're not soley for kids.  Adults may have them also.  Generally dental insurance does not pay for sealants on adult patients.  Contact your dental insurance provider to know your benefits of dental insurance.