Fissure sealants, also known as dental sealants, are a treatment designed to prevent tooth decay. Most commonly applied as a preventative solution to the newly and fully erupted adult molar teeth, fissure sealing aims to seal the natural grooves (or fissures) present in these teeth. This serves the function of preventing food and bacteria from getting caught in the grooves, which can lead to tooth decay and infection.
There are a number of modern materials used to form the sealant, some of which we’ll cover below. Additionally, we’ll look at what you can expect from the treatment process.
The function of a dental sealant isn’t too dissimilar to that of a filling. The principle difference is the following: sealants are preventative, fillings are reactionary, designed to restore your teeth to their ordinary function, shape, and appearance.
There are a number of modern sealant materials available. Ranging from resin based sealants to glass ionomer sealants, with hybrid formulations sitting between. You can be assured that at Care Dental Camberwell, we use only the leading sealants available.
Once the choice of sealant is sorted, the fissure sealing process progresses as follows:
As mentioned above, fissure sealing treatment provides preventative care against tooth decay and the associated oral health risks. It’s worth mentioning that the fissure sealing treatment itself involves no injections, no drilling, and no pain or discomfort.
Beyond the initial application of a sealant, how long does it remain effective? The answer to this depends on a number of factors, but you should expect an application of fissure sealant to the fully erupted molar of a 12 to 13 year-old to last well into adulthood. But the ultimate value of fissure sealing is difficult to quantify. Preventative methods of oral care, from brushing to flossing, bi-yearly professional cleans, along with the application of fissure sealants will have a preventative dollar value of well into the tens of thousands of dollars or more, and fantastic health benefits beyond.