What are Fissure Sealants?
Fissure Sealants are a filling like material, placed in the groves of teeth, as protective measures to stop decay. Sealants are routinely placed in children as soon as they erupt, but can be placed on adult teeth as well. The top surfaces of your teeth – where the chewing takes place – aren’t smooth and flat. They are crisscrossed with tiny hills and valleys, called pits and fissures. Some of the pits and fissures are so narrow that even a single bristle from your toothbrush can’t get deep enough to clean it out. Fissure sealants are placed in the grooves where plaque can build up.
Fissure sealants are a simple procedure which can be carried out by dentists and is done to prevent caries forming on the biting surfaces of teeth.
At Dental On Park we will only make the recommendation for fissure sealants on an individual basis. Generally, the teeth that are treated and protected by sealants are the back teeth, the molars. They may be also be placed on baby teeth that have just erupted, and the procedure may be repeated over the years to repair any loss of the sealant through natural wear and tear of the teeth. The procedure entails us first cleaning your tooth and drying it. The surface may be cleaned using a small brush that is inserted in the drill, or we may use an air abrasion technique to clean the bumps and grooves of the teeth. Then we apply an etching gel that helps the sealant bond or adhere itself to the surface of the tooth.
After a while, this gel is waged off, and the tooth dried. The surface of the tooth that has been prepared will have a frosted look, similar to etched glass. Then, we will paint each tooth with the thin layer of the sealant. Once the sealant has been applied, we will shine an intense curing light to harden it. The curing light triggers off a catalyst that helps the sealant to harden. The sealant blends easily with the natural color of the tooth because it is clear or white in color. We will then check your bite to make sure that the sealant is not too thick. If it is, we’ll buff it off using a drill. Once the sealant is fully hardened, you can eat and drink immediately without any problems.