As premolars and molars erupt, their crowns feature small pits and grooves, called dental fissures as part of the tooth anatomy. Whilst it is normal for teeth to have dental fissures, they can trap food and bacteria, which can potentially lead to dental decay.
To help overcome this issue, a dentist can apply fissure sealants. Fissure seals are effective, safe and painless. They are made of composite resin and are applied to the pits and grooves of molars and premolars. When finished the treatment results in a smooth surface coating over the molars and premolars which helps prevents plaque and food from causing tooth decay.
Fissure Sealants and Children
Even though fissure sealants can be applied at any time, at Albany Place Dental Practice we strongly suggest the dental fissures are sealed as soon as the first adult molars appear, usually around the age of 6.
Fissure Sealant Procedure
The placement of fissure sealants is non-invasive, safe and painless. The first step in the procedure is to thoroughly clean the tooth surface, rinse and dry.
Your dentist will then apply an acidic solution to the tooth or teeth, which will be left on for approximately 30 seconds and then washed off. The acidic solution provides the required bonding surface and kills bacteria present on the tooth’s surface before the sealant is applied.
Next the dentist will apply the sealant filling in the grooves, pits and fissures creating the smooth top protective coating. The sealant will then be cured using a UV light.
Once the fissure sealant is set your dentist will check the ‘bite’ of your teeth and adjust the thickness of the sealant if required.
The process is quick and only takes a few minutes per tooth.
After the Procedure
Your child can eat and drink after having fissure sealants placed. We do however recommend they avoid biting hard lollies or ice in the future as this could cause a fracture in the sealant.
The sealants usually last a number of years, however it is a good idea to have them checked by a dentist on a regular basis. This is to make sure that the sealant is still intact, and that no decay has occurred underneath it.
Please note that dental sealants on their own will not prevent tooth decay. It is extremely important that your child has a good regular oral care routine and visits the dentist at least twice a year for regular checkups.
Enjoy the protection of fissure sealants done by your trusted dentist at Albany Place Dental Practice. We aim to provide you and your entire family with a wide range of dental treatments so that everyone can enjoy a lifetime of beautiful and healthy smiles.