Fissure sealants are a thin liquid resin coating on the chewing surfaces of permanent teeth, usually the back ones (premolars and molars), to prevent future tooth decay.
The painted on liquid sealant quickly bonds into the fissures and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth
They are one of the safe and painless ways of protecting your children’s teeth from tooth decay, once it is hard, the sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth.
What’s involved in the procedure ?
The process is usually quick and easy taking only a few minutes per tooth and needs no needles or numbs.
The tooth is thoroughly checked for dental decay and prepared with a special bur, etched, washed and dried, then the sealant applied and allowed to set hard – usually by shining a blue light onto it for seconds.
How long do fissure sealants last?
Sealants usually last for many years, but your dental team will want to check them regularly to make sure that the seal is still intact. They can wear over time, and sometimes the dental team need to add or replace some sealant to be sure that no decay can start underneath it.
Are sealants on teeth necessary?
Dental sealant is necessary to prevent cavity treatment for all children. But yet it doesn’t need to be applied to all back teeth. Sealant can only go on natural teeth or grooves that are free of decay; it’s too late for sealant procedure if a tooth cavity is there.
When should this be done?
Sealants are often applied as soon as the first permanent teeth start to come through. This is usually between 6 and 7 years of age. The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear which can be any time between 10 and 14 years of age.
Can you eat after getting sealants on your teeth?
Sealants may take a day or two to conform completely to the shape of the tooth, but once they’ve done so the treated teeth feel no different from any other. Your children will be able to eat normally as soon as the sealant has hardened at the dentist.
Can adults get sealants on their teeth?
Because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars, children and teenagers are candidates for sealants. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.
Can dental sealants come off?
Dental sealants can come off (and often do) or wear away over time. The main reason for failure is not being able to keep the tooth dry whilst placing the fissure sealant.
If the sealant comes off, the tooth is simply back to where it started and can be replaced. As a guide, 50% of sealants will last over 5 years.