Sealants are a great way to protect against tooth cavities on your back teeth. These are the teeth that are most vulnerable to cavities and decay because they are used in the chewing process, and are the most difficult to reach and clean. Permanent first molars erupt at around 5-7 years of age, and second molars come in between the ages of 11-14. It is best to have a sealant placed as soon as the molars erupt to ensure they are protected early since they are most vulnerable to decay in the beginning.

Sealant is not a filling, and does not require "drilling." The procedure does not cause any discomfort, so local anesthesia (numbing) is not necessary. A sealant has a runny viscosity to better settle into the crevices of the cleaned tooth. It is "flowed in" and bonded onto the chewing surface (pits and fissures) of the tooth using a curing light. Once it hardens, it creates a barrier between your tooth and any plaque, food particles, and bacteria from settling into the crevices of the tooth. Sealants last for a few years, while the tooth is most vulnerable to decay, and can be reapplied if necessary.

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