What are fissure sealants and why do we need them?
A fissure sealant is a protective coating which is normally painted on the chewing surfaces of a child’s new adult teeth. However, if you are an adult and have healthy teeth, and wish to have extra protection on your teeth, this treatment is available for you.
Fissure sealants are NOT the same as fillings. Fissure sealants are meant to protect your teeth from having fillings in future. Fillings are used to restore teeth to their normal shape, appearance and function by filling the cavity (void) caused by decay, which often starts in the natural pits and fissures in the back teeth.
If you look carefully, you’ll notice that we all have many grooves on the biting surfaces of our back teeth (premolars and molars). These fissures can be quite deep, and because they are also very narrow, they often trap bacteria and tiny bits of food.
These fissures are difficult to brush effectively, because they are often narrower than your tooth brush bristle, and you cannot get to the bottom of such fissures. To protect these, you need super protection.
Who are fissure sealants for?
Dentists, hygienists and dental therapists advise placing fissure sealants on some teeth, especially on young teenagers’ teeth. Fissure sealants form the protective hard shield, that keeps food and bacteria from getting stuck in the tiny grooves, which eventually leads to tooth decay.
This is a very cost effective and easy way to protect your child’s teeth from decay. The treatment is quick, completely painless and non-invasive. Dentists and dental hygienists can apply fissure sealants only on the teeth which do not have any fillings, and which do not show any signs of already existing decay.
What does the treatment look like?
The dentist or hygienist will use a coloured gel called etch first. After washing the surface and drying it, they will apply a very thin layer of a special liquid which is either transparent or more often milky white called fissure sealant. They will then cure it with a light in order to create a hard, impenetrable shield on the surface of your child’s tooth. And that’s it, finished.
Straight after this procedure, you or your child can eat and drink as normal.
Once in place, fissure sealants are there to stay. They will be checked and assessed at each dental exam and or hygiene appointment, and if necessary – that is if they show signs of wear, are cracked or parts of them are missing – they will be reapplied/ topped up.
Dentistry is a complex art requiring expertise and experience to fulfill our patients’ expectations. At PJS Dental, we aim to deliver an exceptional customer experience that focuses on making our patients feel good about every interaction they have with us. We improve lives by giving our patients confidence in everything that they do.
If you are interested in exploring fissure sealants, get in touch to find out more.