My Child Has Been Recommended Fissure Sealants…What Exactly Are They?
Dental fissure sealants are a non-invasive way of providing a protective layer over the deep groves in teeth, to help reduce the risk of decay.
The sealant is made of white or clear material, similar to the common white filling. It is applied most commonly on molar teeth as this is usually where there is greatest risk of bacteria growing, due to the natural shape of the tooth providing deeper groves or pits (known as fissures).
By providing this protective layer, we can help reduce the development of harmful plaque, that can often lead to tooth decay and cavities.
Although commonly beneficial for children, fissure sealants can also be an effective way of protecting adult teeth with particularly large groves or pits.
What Is the Treatment Process?
The good news is that if your child does require a fissure sealant, the process is quick, simple and pain free. Each fissure sealant takes a few minutes per tooth and there is no need for drilling or anaesthetic injection.
The process is either performed by a Dentist or Oral Health Therapist and will include the following steps:
- The tooth is cleaned and dried
- The tooth surface is prepared so that the bond will adhere
- The liquid sealant is applied and flows into the fissure
- The sealant is set with a special light
- The bite is checked and any excess material is polished
What Happens After the Procedure?
The sealants are set during the appointment so there is no waiting time needed before eating or drinking once the procedure is complete. The sealants are not visible so, your child can go straight back to enjoying all their activities with no difference.
Continue to encourage good oral hygiene. Another benefit of the fissure sealants is that your child’s teeth will actually be easier to clean because the toothbrush will be able to reach all surfaces.
Sealants last several years before they may need replacing but be sure to maintain regular dental check-ups to ensure the sealants and surrounding teeth remain in good condition.