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Dental fissure sealants are a protective layer applied on the chewing teeth (the molars) to reduce tooth decay. Applying a sealant is quick and painless and can be done by your dental practitioner

WHICH TEETH SHOULD BE SEALED?

Sealant is most commonly applied to the grooves, known as fissures, and pits of the back molar. The sealants provide a barrier against bacteria that can cause plaque. They are designed to prevent tooth decay and cavities.

WHEN MIGHT SOMEONE NEED SEALANTS?

Your dentist might advise you to have fissure sealants if you have large grooves or pits in your teeth. However this should be discussed between your doctor whether or not they are necessary, as not all teeth with fissures need sealants.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING A FISSURE SEALANT PROCEDURE?

  • Clean and dry the tooth
  • prepare the tooth surface so that the sealant bonds well
  • paint on the liquid sealant, which ill flow into the deep grooves and pits
  • bond and harden the sealant with a strong light
  • check your bite and polish off any excess sealant

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THE PROCEDURE?

Sometimes the sealant falls off so it is a good idea to visit your dentist regularly so they can make sure the sealant is in good condition as part of your routine dental check-up. It can also wear down over a few years but can always be reapplied.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS AND RISKS?

They provide extra protection from decay, even those who drink fluroridated water and brush with fluoride toothpaste. Complications are rare but may include an allergic reaction to the sealants, or a change in your bite if the sealant layer is thick.

WHAT ARE THE OTHER ALTERNATIVES?

Fluoride varnish can be applied to the teeth by a dentist, however fluoride varnishes are mostly used in young children at high risk of developing of cavities. They need to be applied 2 to 4 times each year.