The molars and premolars of your teeth have grooves in them, which are important to helping you properly chew your food. It is very difficult to clean the deepest parts of these grooves, however, and plaque tends to accumulate within them. Not surprisingly, the deep grooves of the molars or premolars are where cavities are most likely to develop. Routine cleanings are an excellent way to clean plaque out of the grooves and prevent cavities. Sealants are another good method to prevent cavities in that area.
Most insurance companies will pay for sealants once per lifetime per molar. Some insurance companies will pay for sealants on premolars, but others won’t. Sealants don’t, unfortunately, last for your whole lifetime – most last approximately 5 years. This is because sealants are exposed to a lot of abrasive forces (grinding, biting, scraping) as you chew your food – eventually they just get worn off. We recommend sealants in the healthy molars and premolars of both children and adults because they are so effective in preventing cavities in those areas. While you may have to pay out of pocket to have sealants placed on your teeth, we believe that it is preferable to having to have a filling due to decay.