Sealants are a great way to protect against cavities on the biting surfaces of your back teeth (molars). 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 for children to reach when brushing. Molars first come in at around 6 years of age, with a second set coming in around age 12. Sealants protect the biting surfaces of teeth but not the surfaces in between teeth.
Before a sealant is placed, the biting surface of the tooth is cleaned thoroughly. Enameloplasty (cleaning out the deep grooves with a bur) is usually performed. This requires no anesthesia. The tooth is cleaned well and the sealant is placed.