What is Fissure Sealant?
Sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting your teeth from tooth decay. Fissure sealants is a protective plastic coating which is applied on to the grooves of the back teeth. Sealant forms a protective layer that keeps food and bacteria from getting stuck in the tiny grooves in the teeth that causes decay.
Why do I need a sealant?
Sealants are only applied to the back teeth, mainly the molars and premolars. These are the teeth that have ‘pits’ (small hollows) and ‘fissures’ (grooves) on their biting surfaces. Our dentist will consult you, on which teeth should be sealed after they have thoroughly examined, whether the fissures are deep enough for sealing to help. Some teeth naturally have deep grooves which will need to be sealed meanwhile others have shallow ones which does not need sealing.
Sealants are often applied as soon as the first permanent teeth start to come through (usually between 6 and 7 years of age). The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear, which can be any time between 11 and 14 years of age.
How long does the procedure take?
The procedure is usually quick and easy. It takes only a few minutes per tooth. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution, and dried. The sealant is then applied and allowed to set hard – usually by shining a blue light onto it.
What to expect after the procedure?
The procedure is pain free. No differences are felt on teeth after the procedure.
How long do fissure sealants last?
Sealant usually last for many years, but needs to be checked regularly to make sure that the seal is intact. It can wear over time, and sometimes needs to be added to or replaced, to be sure that no decay starts underneath it.