Fissures are the hollows and grooves in our teeth. They are niche areas for food debris and bacteria to accumulate, increasing the risk of tooth decay.
Fissure sealants are thin white coatings placed over the grooves. They block the grooves and reduce the risk of tooth decay in areas where decay most often starts.
Only the back teeth need to be sealed, as these are the ones which have deep fissures and are therefore at increased risk of developing decay.
Fissure sealants with children
We place fissure sealants routinely in children to reduce the need for fillings later in life. This treatment is often performed on children when their adult teeth come through, allowing early protection against decay.
Fissure sealants procedure
The procedure is easy, pain-free and does not require a local anaesthetic. Each tooth to be sealed is thoroughly cleaned, prepared and dried. The sealant is applied into the grooves of the tooth and cured with a light until set.
Benefits of fissure sealants
- Fissure sealants prevent tooth decay before it happens
- Fissure sealants act as an extra layer of defence
- Fissure sealants can be applied once the adult teeth come through, providing children protection from an early age
Fissure sealants FAQs
- Do fissure sealants mean I reduce the need for oral hygiene?
Fissure sealants do not take away the need to brush your teeth – you should still brush twice daily, floss or use interdental brushes daily, monitor your sugar levels and give up smoking – but it does offer another level of defence for your teeth.
- At what age is a fissure sealant applied to children’s teeth?
Where possible, fissure sealants can be applied when children’s adult teeth come through at the back if there are deep fissures. This usually begins from the age of 6 or 7, and will continue into the teens.
- How long do fissure sealants last?
You can expect them to last for many years, but they will need to be monitored with regular dental appointments. Sometimes, your dentist may need to touch up areas or reapply the sealant to ensure effectiveness as they can sometimes wear or de-bond over time.
- Does the treatment hurt?
Fissure sealants are a pain-free treatment because your teeth are only being coated with a thin white sealant.