Dental Sealants or Fissure Sealants are mostly used in children’s dentistry, however, they can also be applied to adult teeth as well.
What are Fissure Sealants?
Fissure sealants are a plastic material which is applied to the chewing surfaces of permanent molars, they provide a barrier to bacteria which might invade the pits and fissures of the teeth.
Some back teeth, especially molars can be hard for a person to clean because the pits and fissures (the grooves found on the tooth's chewing surface) are deep and narrow. When the toothbrush isn’t reaching these areas the plaque isn’t cleared away and the teeth are at risk of decay.
By bonding plastic resin, also known as, fissure sealants, into the grooves of the tooth it creates a smoother tooth surface. After the sealant is applied, there are no areas left on the tooth that the toothbrush bristles can’t get to. Therefore, the plaque is being removed and the risk of decay is minimised.
Sealants are most effective when applied to teeth soon after they have erupted, before they have a chance to decay. Any teeth with deep grooves that are at risk of tooth decay should be sealed by the dentist. So if someone cannot easily clean a groove in a molar then the groove needs a sealant.
Fissure sealants should be checked at regular dental appointments and can be reapplied.
Good oral hygiene and the use of fluoride toothpaste is still critical after fissure sealants are applied as well as 6 monthly check-up visits to the dentists.