Fissure sealants consist of a tooth coloured liquid that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of adult molar and premolar teeth to prevent cavities. Once in place, it soon hardens, forming a thin layer of plastic that will not affect your child’s bite and which is virtually invisible. Fissure sealants are best applied soon after your child’s adult teeth have erupted and before any cavities can form as they cannot be used on teeth that already have fillings or decay. Once applied the coating is permanent, and will stay on their teeth for a number of years.
Why does my child need fissure sealants?
Your back teeth are known as premolars and molars and have pits and grooves on the biting surface, some of which can be deep and difficult to keep clean with brushing. Food particles can become trapped and this creates a perfect breeding ground for plaque bacteria which if left, will generate cavities. Fissure sealants work by filling the deep pits and grooves, creating a smooth surface that is easy to keep clean, helping to prevent cavities from forming.
We find fissure sealants are a great preventative dental treatment. They are inexpensive and hard wearing and can be replaced if they become chipped or worn. It’s highly likely we will recommend this treatment for your child soon after their adult teeth emerge. Occasionally we may also suggest protecting milk or primary teeth in this way, particularly if they have very deep grooves that are nearly impossible to keep clean.
- Firstly, we will thoroughly clean and dry the teeth to be sealed.
- Next, these teeth are painted with a special etching fluid as this will slightly roughen the surface of the tooth and make it easier for the sealant to bond to the tooth.
- The fissure sealant is applied to the tooth using a small brush before being hardened by a concentrated beam of ultraviolet light.
Treatment is quick and non-invasive and there is no need for local anaesthetic. Afterwards your child will be able to eat and drink normally. We will regularly check the condition of their fissure sealants during examinations so they can be reapplied if necessary.