Fissure Sealants Explained
What are they?
Fissure sealants are thin protective coatings that are applied to the grooves and pits of the teeth to protect them, as a barrier, from dental plaque and food acids. They are also making easier to clean the teeth.
Dental sealants are mainly used in children who are at higher risk of tooth decay. They are placed as soon as the adult molar teeth come through, around six years of age. The ability of children at this age to effectively clean the fissures of these teeth is limited. Sealing these teeth can reduce their risk of decay.
The procedure requires no injections and usually no drilling or removal of tooth structure are necessary. Before the tooth is to be sealed, it should be thoroughly cleaned and dried. An acid gel is applied to the tooth surface for a few seconds and rinsed away with water. While keeping the tooth dry, the fissure sealant is placed into the fissure of the tooth, using a small brush or applicator. A light can be used to set the fissure sealant leaving a hard-thin layer of plastic in the fissures. The patient’s bite is checked to make sure the sealant does not interfere with the way the teeth bite together.
How are fissure sealants maintained?
Fissure sealed teeth do not require any additional home care. It is sufficient to maintain a very good oral hygiene and maybe some changes in eating and brushing habits to be done as limiting the sugar and refined carbohydrate products in your food and drinks and effective brushing with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice per day.
Fissure sealants will be checked at your regular dental check-ups.
They can be replaced or repaired if needed. They potentially remain effective for five years or longer. It is not uncommon for fissure sealants to be retained into adulthood.