What is a fissure sealant?
All back teeth have a set of grooves (or fissures) on the biting surface to assist us with chewing. Some teeth have particularly deep grooves where it can be almost impossible to efficiently clean food and bacteria from them. This can cause the tooth to decay, which can progress to a large size before detection.
A common preventative measure for this is called a fissure sealant, or seal.
We begin by cleaning the surface of the tooth. A flowable tooth-coloured resin is then set into the deepest areas of the fissure, preventing food and bacteria from accumulating. That’s it! The process is quick and easy, requires no anaesthetic, and often requires no pre-treatment.
It is a cheaper and quicker process than a filling, and is much less destructive to your natural tooth structure.
Which teeth should be sealed?
This can be assessed by one of our dentists at your next appointment.
Some teeth have shallower grooves and as such may not need seals. Other teeth, however, may be more susceptible to decay—often the dentist will look at the shape of the grooves and the mouth as a whole to estimate the overall risk of decay.
Children tend to be most at-risk as the enamel on recently erupted teeth is weaker and good brushing habits are still being formed. This is why fissure seals are often recommended for children.
Is there anything else I should know?
Fissure seals are only one aspect of decay prevention in the teeth. They are not going to be able to protect against decay if your diet is high in sugar, or if there is inadequate cleaning at home. It also does not stop decay on any other area of the tooth.
Regular check-ups with your dentist, a diet low in sugar, and regular cleaning are required to help keep all of the teeth decay-free, and fissure seals can assist in this.
Book in to see us if you would like to know more!