This innovative treatment is an evidence-based preventive way that allows a parent to protect their child from the potential distress and discomfort of future dental treatment. Prevention is an important aspect of our work at ProDent Care and we believe it can never start too early. That’s why we offer this treatment aimed at reducing the amount of dental work needed in adult life. Fissure sealing is a technique where a resin is bonded into the fissures on the biting surface of the back teeth, thus reducing the amount of food able to get trapped there and so preventing decay. This is generally done at age 6-7 and again at age 11-12 when the first and second adult molars come into the mouth. Many adults today have fillings on their back teeth that could have been prevented if fissure sealants were around when they were children.
Which teeth should be sealed?
Sealants are only applied to the back teeth-the molars and premolars. These are the teeth that have pits and fissures on their biting surfaces. Some teeth naturally form with deep grooves which can be sealed, others with shallow ones which may not need sealing.
What is involved?
The process is usually quick and straightforward taking only a few minutes per tooth. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution, and dried. The liquid sealant is then applied and allowed to set hard-usually by shining an ultraviolet light onto it.
How long do they last?
Sealants usually last for many years, but need to be checked regularly to make sure that the seal is still intact. They can wear over time, and sometimes may need to be added or replaced to be sure that no decay starts underneath them.
How do they work?
The sealant forms a smooth, protective barrier, by covering all the little grooves and dips in the surface of the tooth. Dental decay starts in these grooves.
When should this be done?
Sealants are often applied as soon as the permanent teeth start to come through. This is usually between 6 and 7 years of age. The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear which can be any time between 11 to 14 years of age.