Fissure Sealant is a tooth coloured plastic film that is professionally applied to deep grooves in your back teeth protecting them from decay. These grooves are found on the chewing areas of your back teeth. The deeper the grooves are, the higher their risk of developing decay is. Grooves trap food and plaque and sometimes the bristles of your toothbrush are not able to reach all the way into the grooves to clean them well. In this case, decay can occur.
Fissure sealant is a preventative procedure to prevent decay. It is a conservative, non-invasive and painless procedure. No drilling or numbing required. When applied well, it will protect your teeth from decay but generally lasts for about 2-3 years.
Due to this short life span, we generally only recommend this treatment in specific cases. The material is weaker than a filling material so needs to be regularly checked by your dentist. If parts of a fissure sealant chips away or falls out, it will lead to decay. Fissure sealants can fail if not applied well or if there is undiagnosed decay in the grooves.
A thorough dental examination is needed to diagnose whether fissure sealants are suitable. Not all grooves require a fissure sealant. Grooves which are not deep and not present with signs of decay are usually best left alone, to reduce risk of fissure sealant chipping, causing plaque to trap and thus decay. Ask us at your next visit about your need for fissure sealants for yourself and your children.
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