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Fissure Sealants


A fissure is five times more likely to develop decay than other tooth surfaces.

What are fissures?

Fissures are the grooves that naturally occur on the biting surfaces of teeth. All molars and premolars have fissures to some degree. Occasionally, fissures occur on canines and incisors.

If the fissures are very deep and narrow, toothbrush bristles cannot fit inside to clean out food particles. Trapped food attracts bacteria, which multiply within the fissures and make a sticky coating called plaque. Plaque acids eat into the tooth enamel and cause decay. Not all fissures are often prone to decay. Only the deepest and narrowest fissures are at risk. In children and adolescents, the chewing and grinding surfaces of molars and premolars are the most vulnerable.

Many studies have shown that fissure sealants are effective in reducing the occurence of tooth decay. On a tooth surface with completely sealed fissures, protection is 100 per cent. As the fissure sealant wears down, protection is reduced. However, even after five years, a protected tooth has half the risk of decay compared to an unprotected tooth.




Treatment is painless and non-invasive. Fissure sealants are often plastic coatings that fill the fissures and protect teeth from dental plaque and acids. The liquid sets in minutes and forms a physical barrier that stops food, bacteria and plaque acids from contacting the tooth surface. Fissure sealants are usually white or tooth coloured. The best time to apply fissure sealants is immediately after the permanent teeth appear.


Maintenance of sealed teeth

Our Dentists at Drummoyne Dental Practice usually recommend check-ups every 6 months so that tooth decay or sealant loss can be detected and treated. A sealant coating can be easily replaced if partially lost due to normal wear and tear. Sealed teeth do not require any special home treatment or dietary changes. Although the fissure sealant protects the biting surface of the treated tooth from decay, untreated surfaces and other teeth are still at risk. It is important to regularly brush and floss your teeth. Try to avoid factors that increase the risk of tooth decay like; high sugar intake, poor dental hygiene and low dietary fluoride intake.