Ask Dr. D: What do sealants do? Do I need them?

Aug 26, 2014


Dear Dr. Diesburg,

My kids are at the age where they are supposed to get sealants. Do you recommend this? What do they actually do?

Cindy in McMinnville

Dear Cindy:

You do not have to get sealants. But it is a very good idea to do so.

Here's why: When teeth form there are crevices in the biting surface of the tooth that are small enough that toothbrush bristles cannot reach them. As a result, even children or people with excellent hygiene can get cavities in these areas because they are never getting brushed.

With a sealant, we clean out those grooves and flow a liquid resin into the crevice that hardens so that food and bacteria can't be packed in there. A sealant does not guarantee you won't get a cavity, but it will help prevent cavities in the biting surfaces. Adults can get them, too. but they are more recommended for children.

We generally suggest them as soon as the adult molars have erupted. There are eight adult molars that we routinely recommend getting sealed. Many insurances cover sealants for children.


Thanks for  your question.


Dr. Adam Diesburg, D.D.S.

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