Fissure Sealants

FISSURE SEALANTS

HOW ARE FISSURE SEALANTS APPLIED?

It is quick and straight forward taking only a few minutes per tooth. A dentist will clean and prepare the tooth with a special solution. The tooth is dried with air. The liquid is then applied and set hard using a special light. No injections or drilling are needed, and the entire process is pain free.

WHAT ARE FISSURE SEALANTS?

Fissure sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting your children’s teeth from tooth decay. It is a plastic coating which covers the chewing surfaces of the back adult teeth. The chewing surfaces of back teeth have small grooves or fissures which often extend right down into the tooth itself. However well the teeth are brushed, these fissures are very difficult to clean thoroughly. Bacteria and food particles stick to them and eventually cause decay. The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth. They do not affect the normal chewing function of teeth. Most tooth decay in children occurs in the back teeth.

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WHEN IT SHOULD BE DONE?

The first permanent back molars are usually sealed between 6 and 7 years of age. If required the rest of the molars are usually sealed as soon as they appear which can be any time between 11 and 14 years.

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CAN SEALANTS BE SEEN ON THE TEETH?

They can be clear or white in colour. Because they are on the back teeth, they cannot be seen when a child talks or smiles.

HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?

They can last for many years and the dentist will check them regularly to make sure that the seal is still intact. They can wear over time, and sometimes the dentist may add or replace some sealant to be sure that no decay has started underneath it.

What do fissure sealants look like?

 

Tooth with NO Fissure Sealant

Tooth with NO Fissure Sealant

—– Tooth WITH Fissure Sealant

Tooth WITH Fissure Sealant

Do children still have to clean their teeth?

Yes. Sealants are only one part of a child’s preventative dental care. It is still important that teeth are brushed twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. The sealed surfaces will now be easier to clean when tooth brushing.

 
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Fissure Sealants March 31, 2016