Fissure sealants are an excellent means to preventing tooth decay and cavities on the biting surfaces of teeth. In nature the shapes of the occlusal (biting) contours of the teeth can be likened to hills and valleys. Sometimes the fissures, pits and grooves (valleys) are very steep and as such attract and retain plaque and foodstuffs. The acids which get produced by the fermentation process which follows results in cavities forming. Fissure sealants are a non-invasive effective way of sealing these grooves beforehand.
Fissure sealants are the grooves that occur naturally on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. All back teeth (molars and premolars have these grooves. Occasionally these fissures occlusal on the inside aspect of the upper from teeth as well.
Sometimes the grooves can be quite deep and as a result, bacteria and food particles can become lodged inside and are not always effective cleaned away by our saliva or even tooth brushing. The presence of this trapped plaque can result in tooth decay on the chewing surfaces.
Fissure sealants are plastic coatings that fill these tiny, deep grooves and prevent food and bacteria getting trapped in these grooves.
The best time to place a sealant is soon after the permanent tooth has erupted. Studies have shown that sealed teeth have much less risk of developing decay than teeth which have not been sealed.
Technique: This treatment is painless and non-invasive and requires the careful cleaning out of the grooved surface. A stain is applied to ensure complete elimination of plaque, the surface is prepared with a mild acidic solution, it is then washed and dried, a bonding agent is placed and then the tooth coloured sealer is then applied and set hard with a specialised light.