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As your child’s permanent molars and premolars emerge, it’s quite common for the occlusal or biting surface of these teeth to have deep pits and fissures. While this is an evolutionary trait designed to help them chew and grind hard foods, it can also serve as a trap for plaque and residual food particles. Sometimes these pits and fissures on the occlusal surface are so deep that brushing and rinsing cannot effectively keep the area clean.

Trapped food particles and plaque encourages the formation of large cavities. Large inlay or onlay fillings are often needed to repair these cavities. Later on in life these fillings could cause additional complications.

If one of the dental professionals at Derek M. Lichter, DDS, Inc. notices deep pits or stuck on plaque and food particles on these areas, they will often recommend protecting the occlusal surface with dental sealants.

Dental sealants a durable plastic-resin that Dr. Derek M. Lichter can paint onto the biting surface of your child’s back teeth. A special ultraviolet light is used to harden the resin. When plaque and food particles get stuck in the deep pits and contours, the resin effectively prevents bacteria from direct exposure to the enamel of the biting surface.

The dentist can usually apply the dental sealants after your child’s routine dental checkup. The resin material is very durable and should protect the biting surface of your child’s molars and premolars for several years.

If you have any questions or you are interested in having your child’s back teeth protected by dental sealants, you should call Derek M. Lichter, DDS, Inc. at 619.422.5317 to schedule an appointment.