Fissure Sealants

Dental fissure sealants provide protection to your child’s teeth. Children will be able to clean their teeth more easily, which can prevent future dental problems such as cavities.

What are dental fissure sealants?

Dental fissure sealants are a protective coating placed on the teeth. Once we seal the tooth surface with a fissure sealant, it is easier to clean them. Brushing teeth will be more effective in preventing cavities. Fissure sealants are generally placed on children’s back teeth and should be placed just after the teeth fully come through. The dentist doesn’t have to numb the tooth to put the sealant on. This is one of the key advantages of fissure seals.

Why are teeth sealants necessary in children?

Dentist in Bendigo explaining fissure sealant procedure to a child

We believe, prevention is better than cure. All back teeth have grooves on the chewing surfaces. These also known as pits or fissures and are thin and deep. Plaque will accumulate in the grooves as they provide an ideal hiding place for bacteria. Bacteria produce acid, and the acid will dissolve the tooth enamel. After some time, a cavity will be formed. Even if a person uses a proper brushing technique, the toothbrush bristles won’t reach the grooves. Therefore even a good brusher may get holes in their teeth. If there is a cavity, the dentist has to use the local anaesthesia to drill and fill the tooth. Fissure sealants can prevent this process.

Procedure for placing teeth sealants?

  • The dentist will clean the chewing surfaces of the teeth. They use special brushes and a tooth cleaning solution.
  • Teeth are then rinsed and dried. A filling material is placed on the chewing surfaces to seal all the tiny groves. Dental professionals may apply light to harden the filling material.
  • Then the seals are checked for any high spots and correct them. If they aren’t corrected, it can affect your child’s bite.
  • After we apply the sealant, all the pits and grooves are filled with the filling material. This makes the chewing surface smooth and also easy to clean.
  • The sealant contains fluoride, which provides increased protection.
  • In some patients, after 3-5 years the sealants may wear off, and the dentist may have to top up the sealant.

When should a fissure sealant be placed?

Seals can be placed at any age. The best time is as soon as the chewing surfaces are visible in the mouth.

Sometimes there may be a small leakage or cavity present before the seals are placed. If this is the case, decay underneath the seals may become larger and we’ll have to fill the tooth.

Most sealants are easy to maintain and do not require any special care. To keep a healthy smile, our dentists recommend your child brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Regular dental check-ups are important to keep fissure seals intact. For more information please visit our dentist in Bendigo.