Some of our teeth have deep grooves called fissures, which can trap plaque and food easily. In cases where grooves are very deep, the toothbrush bristles may not be able to clean all the plaque away from the grooves.
A white tooth coloured resin is used to seal these fissures such that the chance of plaque accumulation, and in turn, tooth decay is minimised.
Sealing the teeth grooves minimise the need for less conservative treatments like fillings and reduce the possibility of tooth decay.
Tooth is etched with a gel which is used to condition the tooth such that the sealant is able to bond properly to the tooth.
The tooth is then dried completely. For teeth whereby it is not possible to get a completely dry working field, a dental dam may be used to prevent saliva contamination.
For very young children, we may have to delay the treatment until a dry field can be attained, either by using a dental dam or until the tooth erupts further.
The sealant is placed under dry conditions.
A UV light device is used to harden the sealant.
The occlusion (bite) is checked and any interferences or high bite are corrected.
Who are suitable for fissure sealants?
We usually do fissure sealants for permanent teeth. We recommend that sealants be placed on adult molars when the teeth have erupted sufficiently for the sealants to be placed under dry conditions.
How long do they last?
Sealants can last a long time, but may need to be replaced when they wear out from heavy chewing.