A fissure sealant is a cavity added to the fissures on the biting surfaces, where plaque tends to stagnate, putting the tooth at increased risk of decay. Applying coatings to the tooth surface helps prevent food and plaque gathering. A sealant is a protective layer, which keeps food and plaque from getting stuck in the grooves to prevent decay from occurring. They are a great use, along with good tooth brushing, to keep the teeth healthy and free from decay.
All teeth have natural grooves and pits within the biting surface known as fissures. These fissures vary in depth from person to person, and generally are the more difficult places to clean, increasing the risk of decay; a sealant can be placed on the back molars to prevent this from happening. Fissure sealants have been proven to reduce the rate of caries forming in children, if they have it done when the tooth has erupted the tooth has less chance of getting decay.
When would I need a fissure sealant?
Fissure sealants are usually placed as soon as an adult tooth comes through at roughly around the age of 6 years, but they can be applied at any age; child or adult. These are usually advised for patients at increased risk of decay, those who have deep fissures, poor OH and/or a high sugar diet, to help reduce the risk of developing decay.
If you’re an adult and have concerns of deep pits or developing decay in the back of your teeth, you can speak to your dental practitioner who will guide you on whether you’re suitable to have fissure sealants placed; if you already have decay on the tooth you would need a filling.
What are the benefits of sealants?
Help reduce the risk of decay
Cost effective in the long term
Simple and painless procedure
Protection from plaque and foods
Easy to repair
What is involved?
The dental practitioner will need a dry tooth to ensure that the fissure sealant has long durability and so it can seal well to the tooth. The tooth is thoroughly washed and dried. A liquid usually opaque or translucent is applied to the groves of the teeth prior to curing with a blue light, it sets straight away, no injection is required to this treatment and it is pain free.
A small protective covering will cover the grooves. You may feel that your tooth feels smoother or has a thick layer on your tooth, but it won’t make adjustments to how you bite, it’s a small film that covers the grooves of your teeth.
How long do fissure sealants last?
Fissure sealants can last for as long as 5-10 years; they are checked at every examination appointment to check they cover the grooves of the tooth. If part of the fissure sealant comes off over time, it can be added to easily, to maintain that protection.
Contact the clinic to book in for more advice or arrange your consultation, during which the dentist can advise you on suitability: