Why are fissure sealants recommended?
The top surfaces of your back teeth – where chewing takes place – aren’t smooth and flat. They are crisscrossed with tiny hills and valleys – called pits and fissures.
These are places where plaque can easily build up safe from your toothbrush and dental floss.
Some of the pits and fissures are so narrow that even a single bristle from your toothbrush can’t get deep enough to clean them out.
If plaque sits in the fissures undisturbed it will use sugars in your diet to produce acid causing caries (decay) deep in the base of the fissure. A fissure is five times more likely to develop decay than other tooth surfaces.
What Are Fissure Sealants?
One method of preventing cavities from developing in the pits and fissures is to seal them off with a special varnish called a fissure sealant. The fissure sealant forms a physical barrier that stops food, bacteria and plaque acids from contacting the tooth surface. It also produces a rounded contour at the base of the fissure making cleaning much easier.
How Are Fissure Sealants Done?
If your Castlemaine Smiles Dentist determines that you need a fissure sealant to help protect your teeth from decay, some special steps are taken to prepare the teeth.
Your dentist or hygienist will thoroughly clean the tooth, and then apply a mild acid solution to ‘etch’ the surface and make it easier for the pit and fissure sealant to stick. After a few seconds this etchant is washed off, and the tooth is dried.
Keeping the area dry and away from your saliva during the application is very important. If the tooth gets wet, the sealant might not stick properly.
Once everything is ready, your dentist ‘paints’ the sealant right over the pits and fissures on the tooth surface. A special kind of light cures (hardens) the sealant and makes it ready for use.
The whole procedure of fissure sealant is quick and painless.
Benefits of Fissure Sealants
- Looks very natural on teeth
- Doesn’t cause pain
- The procedure is quick and easy. It only takes a few minutes to apply the sealant
- The procedure is safe and non-invasive as it doesn’t require injections or drilling
- Sealants don’t dissolve in saliva
- Fissure sealants can last up 10 years or more
- Ideal for patients who suffer from frequent xerostomia (dry mouth)
- Reduces the development of decay by up to 90%
Fissure Sealants For You and Your Kids at Castlemaine Smiles
Fissure sealants are not only ideal for children and teens. Adults can benefit too! At Castlemaine Smiles Dentist we provide high-quality and natural-looking sealants to keep your teeth free of decay and cavities. With good dental care and regular visits, your sealants can last for many years to come.