What are sealants?
Fissures are grooves on the biting surfaces of back teeth. As they are more difficult to clean, there is more risk of decay. A sealant is a protective coating which is applied over the grooves. This forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves and causing decay.
Which teeth should be sealed?
Sealants are applied to the back teeth – only molars and premolars.
When should this be done?
Sealants are often applied as soon as the permanent teeth start to come through [usually 6-7 years of age ] The rest are sealed as soon as they appear [any time between 11-14 years of age. ]
What does it involve?
The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution and dried. The liquid sealant is then applied and allowed to set hard by pointing a light at it.
How long do they last?
Sealants usually last for many years, but your dentist will want to check them regularly to make sure that the seal is still intact. They can wear over time and sometimes the dentist needs to add to them.