Fissures are the naturally occurring pits and grooves on the biting surfaces of teeth. If they are very deep and narrow, it is impossible for an ordinary tooth brush to get inside and clean them sufficiently. If the fissures can’t be cleaned out well, then food and bacteria get trapped in these areas which will lead to tooth decay with time.
A fissure sealant is a protective coating. It is like a layer of paint that can be applied to the fissures after they have been professionally cleaned by a dentist which will minimise the risk of tooth decay in the fissures. Fissure sealing is a painless and non invasive preventive treatment that only takes a few minutes to complete and does not require local anaesthesia.
Sealants often wear away with time and may need to be reapplied after a number of years. The best time to place a fissure sealant is soon after the eruption of a permanent tooth. However, at Be Pain Free Dentistry, we believe it is better late than never, and if we feel that you or your child are at high risk of future tooth decay and may benefit from fissure sealants we will discuss this with you so that we can prevent decay and fillings in the future on these teeth.
It is important to note that whilst and intact fissure seal offers a seal and will protect against tooth decay on that particular surface, having a fissure seal does not guarantee that your child will be entirely cavity free as untreated surfaces are still prone to decay. So it is essential that you and your child brush and floss regularly and limit the consumption of sugary foods and drinks. We also recommend regular dental visits so that we can monitor the condition of the fissure seals and also monitor the rest of the dentition for any sign of decay or early issues.
There are no reported side effects from having fissure sealants applied on teeth, however, if you are concerned about any aspect of it, please discuss your concerns with us.