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Fissure Sealants

At Drummoyne Dental Practice, our dentists may recommend fissure sealants for you or your child. Fissure sealants are a non-invasive procedure to ensure that decay does not form in the grooves of your teeth.

What are fissures?

Fissures are the groves 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, the bristles of a toothbrush 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. A fissure is five times more likely to develop decay than other tooth surfaces. In children and adolescents, the chewing and grinding surfaces of molars and premolars are the most vulnerable


What are fissure sealants?

Fissure sealants are often plastic coating that fill the fissures and protect teeth from dental plaque and acids. Sealants may be white, clear, or tinted, and most are applied to molars or premolars. Primary or “baby” molars may also be recommended for treatment.


Application of Fissure Sealants


Fissure sealant application is a simple process that may be performed by your dentist. Many different types of sealants are available, and different application techniques are used.

General Procedure:

  1. Teeth are thoroughly cleaned and dried. In some cases, shallow drilling may be needed.
  2. Tooth is coated with either a weak acid gel or a chemical solution, depending on the type of sealant used. This ensures that the sealant sticks to the tooth surface.
  3. An adhesive resin may be applied under the sealant.
  4. The liquid sealant is applied.
  5. Depending on the type of sealant a light is used to activate bonding and hardening which sets the liquid to a durable plastic coating on the tooth’s surface. Some sealants have the added bonus of releasing fluoride to further strengthen the tooth.
  6. The dentist will check your bite to ensure that it is comfortable. The sealant should be thin enough that it makes no noticeable difference in your bite.


Maintenance of Sealed Teeth

While an intact fissure sealant offers excellent protection against decay on the treated surface, we cannot guarantee that treatment will prevent decay on all tooth surfaces. To make sure that your teeth are free from decay we recommend a 6 monthly check up and clean so that we can track any decay or loss of a sealant.