What are Fissure Sealants?
Fissures are the grooves that naturally occur on the biting surfaces of the teeth. All molars and premolars have fissures and in some cases canine and incisor teeth may have fissures or grooves. These fissures can be very deep and narrow, meaning the toothbrush bristles cannot fit inside to clean out food particles, plaque and bacteria. This can cause tooth decay.
Not all fissures are prone to decay but deep and narrow fissures are five times more likely to develop decay than other tooth surfaces. In children and adolescents, the chewing surfaces of the teeth are the most vulnerable.
Fissure sealants are a preventive dental treatment used to protect teeth from plaque and decay. The fissures of the teeth are sealed with a protective coating. The material sets in minutes and forms a physical barrier that stops food, bacteria and plaque acids from contacting the tooth surface. At Toorak Fine Dentistry, our fissure sealants are white.
Which teeth need Fissure Sealants and when?
Fissure sealants are generally recommended for permanent molar teeth such as the 6 Year Old Molars and the 12 Year Old Molars. As their name describes, these molar teeth tend to erupt at around 6 and 12 years of age. This is therefore an important time for our dentists to assess the fissure system of these teeth as it is best to treat teeth immediately after they appear.
In teeth with complex pit and fissure anatomy, our dentists will recommend fissure sealants to protect against decay. In some cases, we may recommend fissure sealants for premolar teeth with deep grooves or baby teeth. Fissure sealants can also be used to preserve healthy teeth in adults and we may discuss this with you. If detected very early, tooth decay can sometimes be treated with a fissure sealant instead of a filling.
Any Surgical or Invasive Procedure Carries Risks. Before Proceeding With a Surgical or Invasive Procedure, You Should Seek a Second Opinion From an Appropriately Qualified Health Practitioner.