What are fissure sealants?
Sealants are a protective plastic coating, which our dentist applies to the chewing surfaces and sides of teeth risk of decay.
How do fissure sealants protect 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 in them and eventually cause decay.
Even fluoride in drinking water or toothpaste, which helps protect the smooth sides of the teeth, can’t fully protect these high risk areas against decay.
Fissure sealants completely seal off these grooves, preventing any food parrticles or bacteria from getting in.
How is it done?
First the fissure is checked for decay. Then the process simply involved cleaning the tooth surface, preparing it with a special solution, then applying the coating.
Will it hurt?
No injections or drilling are needed, and the entire process is pain free.
When should it be done?
It’s best to get the permanent back molar teeth sealed as soon as they start to come through. This is usually between 6 and 7 years of age. The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear; which can be any time between 11 and 14 years age.
The new smooth surface is now easy to keep clean and healthy with a toothbrush. Fissure sealants do not affect the normal chewing function of teeth.
Do the teeth need special care afterwards?
No special care is needed, but the back teeth is still need to be brushed regularly with a good toothbrush, preferably using fluoride toothpaste. It’s also important to keep going to our dentist for regular check-ups because other teeth might need attention.
How long do fissure sealants last?
Fissure sealants can last for many years, but our dentist will want to check them regularly to make sure the seal is still intact. They wear over time, and sometimes it is necessary to add or replace some sealant to be sure that no decay can start underneath them.
What does it cost?
Fissure sealants are a cost-effective way of making sure your children’s teeth are protected against decay.
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