What Are Dental Fissure Sealants and How Do They Work?
Dental fissure sealants are a protective layer applied to the deep grooves in teeth to help reduce the risk of decay. Fissure sealants are designed to fill in the grooves that can occur on the surface of your molars. While fissure sealants are often recommended for children and teenagers, adults can also benefit from protective sealants.
If you’re curious about dental fissure sealants - as well as what the process involves - read on to learn more about this quick and pain-free procedure that can help protect against tooth decay.
What is a dental fissure sealant?
A fissure sealant is made of a white or clear filling material, similar to a white tooth filling. The sealant is applied to the small grooves or pits - known as fissures - that occur on the biting surface of your molars (the ‘chewing’ teeth).
By providing a protective layer against bacteria that can lead to the development of harmful plaque, dental fissure sealants help to reduce the risk of tooth decay and cavities.
Who can benefit from fissure sealants?
Fissure sealants are an ideal treatment for children or teenagers, as fissure decay can begin as soon as the back teeth grow - in fact, sealants are best applied within 18 months of tooth eruption before bacteria has a chance to develop and decay the new tooth.
However, dental fissure sealants may also be recommended for adults, particularly if the grooves or pits on teeth are large. Your dentist will be able to advise whether fissure sealants are a suitable treatment option for you or your child to limit future decay.
How are dental fissure sealants applied?
If you or your child requires a dental fissure sealant procedure, you’ll be pleased to learn the process is quick and painless. It usually only takes a few minutes per tooth and there’s no need for anaesthetic (injection).
During your treatment, the dentist will:
● Clean and dry your tooth
● Prepare the tooth surface to ensure the sealant bonds correctly
● Apply the liquid sealant which then flows into the fissure
● Set the sealant with a special dental light
● Check your bite and polish off any excess sealant
What can I expect after my dental fissure sealant application?
Once your fissure sealants are set, they won’t be visible when you talk or smile, and you can get on with all your normal activities with no difference.
Of course, you should continue to practice good oral hygiene. After getting sealants, your teeth will actually be easier to clean because you’ll be able to reach all the surfaces with your toothbrush.
Sealants can last for several years before they need replacing. Make sure you visit your National Dental Care or DB Dental practitioner for regular dental check-ups so they can ensure your sealants are in good condition.
If you’d like to speak to your dentist about how to protect against tooth decay, make an appointment at your local practice - you can book online today.