Fissure Sealant

Preventing plaque and decay in the back of molars.

One of the biggest causes of dental issues is cavities, with over 90% of Australians having a cavity during their lifetime. And one simple way to prevent cavities is with a fissure sealant treatment.

Fissures are the grooves that naturally occur on all biting surfaces of teeth. Food and bacteria can become stuck in the fissures of your teeth - particularly in the back molars - and It can be difficult to properly clean these fissures resulting in tooth decay which leads to cavities. This is why dentists recommend fissure sealants.

What is a fissure sealant?

Fissure sealants are designed to fill in the pits and grooves in your teeth to help protect them from plaque and decay. They literally fill these pits and grooves with a clear plastic material, which reduces the chance of bacteria filling those spaces instead.

Sealants are quick, painless, and easy to apply. They are made of a white or clear plastic material, which flows into the fissures and is set using a special dental light. Once they are set, they can't be seen when you talk or smile.

For the most predictable results, it is best if these sealants are done within 18 months of tooth eruption, before bacteria have a chance to set in and decay the new tooth. This means fissure sealants are usually given to children as their adult teeth come through, but adults can also benefit from this treatment.

Sealants can last for several years before wearing out. This will help to ensure good oral health with minimum cavities, which means a healthier, brighter smile that you can be confident in.

Regular check-ups with your National Dental Care dentist will make sure your sealants are in good condition.

How does a dental fissure sealant work?

A fissure sealant treatment is quick, easy, and painless. A dentist will usually recommend it to children and young adults soon after their adult teeth have come through, and will complete the treatment within one quick appointment.

Here’s the usual process for getting fissure sealants:

  • Brush and floss your teeth at home
  • The dentist will also carefully clean and dry your teeth
  • They will prepare the tooth, which can include a light drill to smooth the tooth surface
  • The dentist will apply the sealant
  • They will then dry the sealant with a special light
  • They will finish by checking your bite is normal and smoothing away any excess sealant
  • The whole process is painless, although you may experience light pressure on the tooth
  • You can eat and drink normally after the treatmen

Advantages of a fissure sealant treatment

There are several great upsides to getting fissure sealant treatment.

  • Protection from cavities and decay: A fissure sealant treatment stops bacteria from building up in the tooth’s grooves, reducing the chance of decay and cavities.
  • Easier cleaning: Because sealant fills the little fissures and ridges on teeth, it makes cleaning these surfaces easier as they will become flatter.
  • Avoid uncomfortable fillings: Fissure sealants can help avoid the need for children to have dental fillings at a young age, which can be tough for them to sit through.

How much does a fissure sealant treatment cost?

A fissure sealant treatment is highly affordable and well worth the investment, at anywhere from $40-$90 per tooth.

The cost will vary depending on the tooth in question, how many teeth you get done at once, and the dental office.

You will need to speak to your dentist for a more accurate quote for your teeth.

You can find your nearest dental office here and get in touch today to schedule a fissure sealant appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of fissure sealants is to fill the small grooves and fissures in the biting surfaces of teeth in order to stop bacteria from accumulating there and leading to decay and cavities. This treatment is usually best for teeth soon after they have come through (and is therefore common in children and teenagers), but adults can also benefit from a fissure sealant treatment.

Sealants do wear down over the years, but can last for up to five or six years. Your dentist will be able to keep an eye on the sealant during regular dental check ups, and can advise if you need a replacement.

The fissure sealant procedure begins with the dentist cleaning the teeth, then preparing any teeth for the sealant. This can involve some light drilling. Then they apply the sealant, and set it using a special light. They will finish by ensuring the sealant doesn’t negatively impact the patient’s bite.

Yes. Adults can benefit from fissure sealants, especially if you have teeth that are especially prone to cavities. Speak to your dentist about the possibility of getting fissure sealants as an adult.

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