Preventive Dentistry Dental Sealants

An Introduction to Sealants

Dr. Hendrix may recommend a sealant to protect your child's teeth from decay. The small grooves and pits present in the back teeth are common sites for cavities.  Sealants fill these grooves and pits to help prevent food particles from getting stuck and causing tooth decay.  If properly cared for with brushing and flossing, sealants will last for years.

Sealants are generally placed on the permanent back teeth soon after they erupt. By placing the sealant as soon as possible, the risk for decay is minimized. Permanent molars typically begin to erupt around 6 years of age.


Sealants can be placed without the need for anesthesia. First, the tooth is thoroughly cleaned. In some instances, Dr. Hendrix will use an air abrasion system which is similar to a very small sand blaster to clean the tooth. While it may be messy, air abrasion elicits no pain and allows for the tooth to be more thoroughly cleaned than other methods. The sealant is then precisely placed in the desired area and treated with a special light to harden it.