What is pit and fissure sealants?
Sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting your children’s teeth from decay. A sealant is a protective resin coating, which is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay.
Are pit and fissure sealants necessary?
Your dentist might advise you to have fissure sealants if you have large grooves or pits in your teeth. However you should discuss with your dentist whether or not they are necessary. Not all teeth with fissures need sealants.
How long does fissure sealant last?
Sealant usually last for many years, but needs to be checked regularly to make sure that the seal is intact. It can wear over time, and sometimes needs to be added to or replaced to be sure that no decay can start underneath it.
Which teeth should be sealed?
Sealants are only applied to the back teeth – the molars and premolars. These are the teeth that have pits and fissures on their biting surfaces. Your dentist will tell you which teeth should be sealed after they have examined them, and checked whether the fissures are deep enough for sealing to help. Some teeth naturally form with deep grooves, which will need to be sealed, others with shallow ones which will not need sealing
Will my child feel it?
No, it is totally pain free, and the teeth do not feel any different afterwards.
How long do they last?
Sealants usually last for many years, but your dentist will want to check them regularly to make sure that the seal is still intact. They can wear over time, and sometimes the dentist needs to add or replace some sealant to be sure that no decay can start underneath them.
How do they work?
The sealant forms a smooth, protective barrier, by covering all the little grooves and dips in the surface of the tooth. Dental decay easily starts in these grooves.