At Orchard Dental we believe passionately in preventative dentistry. Fissure sealants are a very simple but effective way of protecting your molars and premolars from the risk of decay, and are a good preemptive measure to take with children once their second teeth have come through.
All back teeth have pits and fissures (grooves) on them, and because we use these teeth to chew food there is a high risk that bacteria will lodge in these grooves and multiply, causing decay and bad breath.
Fissure sealant – a hardened bonding agent – can be placed over areas of particular risk, blocking bacteria from attacking your teeth. Some people’s molars have many more pronounced pits and grooves than others, making them particularly difficult to clean effectively with an ordinary toothbrush. Fissure sealants add an extra layer of defence and are an important tool in preventative dentistry.
The process is very quick and simple. First we will clean the tooth thoroughly to remove plaque, food and bacteria. We then dry the tooth and lightly scratch the enamel to create a textured surface for the sealant to adhere to.
Using a small brush we apply the fissure sealant material and then an intense curing light, which hardens and bonds the sealant to the surface of your tooth. We will then check that the sealant has bonded properly and that there are no small holes through which bacteria might enter. You can chew and smile as normal straight away, and the fissure sealants won’t be visibly noticeable in your mouth so after a short time it’s likely you will forget they are there.
Fissure sealants can be a particularly important treatment as added defence for children, teenagers and young adults, who may not yet understand the long term importance of rigorous cleaning and whose developing teeth are particularly susceptible to decay.
We will assess your young person’s suitability for fissure sealants during their regular check up and advise accordingly. Nevertheless, even with sealants in place it remains important to follow a good cleaning and oral hygiene regime. We will discuss after care and devise a cleaning routine particularly adapted for you.