Fissure Sealants

What is a fissure sealant?

Fissure sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting children’s teeth from decay. Providing a protective plastic coating on the biting surfaces at the back of the mouth, the sealant protects teeth from decay by filling the pits and fissures with the protective coating.

Deep fissures can be difficult to clean effectively, particularly with children, leading to a build up in bacteria and rapid decay. This procedure is purely preventative, helping parents take control of children’s dental hygiene without the need for injections or potentially painful deep cleaning.

Benefits of sealant

Fissure sealant is particularly beneficial to children aged between 6 and 14, while adult teeth are still growing through. However, once applied, the sealant should last for many years and will only require replacing as it begins to break away.

Which teeth should be sealed?

Sealants are only required on the back biting teeth, or the molars and premolars. These are the teeth containing puts and fissures, and therefore requiring protection from trapped bacteria. However, there may be some teeth located in the back of the mouth that contain shallow fissures and so do not require sealing.

The treatment process

The treatment process for sealing pits and fissures is completely pain free, and teeth won’t feel any different after the procedure.

The process begins with a thorough cleaning of the back teeth before a solution is applied to the tooth to aid the bonding of the sealant. The solution is washed out of the mouth after use, following which the tooth is dried.

The dentist will then be ready to place the sealant on the tooth, filling each of the gaps and grooves in the tooth to ensure a smooth finish. The sealant will then be set with a bright blue light to keep it in place.

Long-term dental hygiene

Fissure sealant provides effective protection of the gaps and grooves on the biting surfaces of back teeth, but it is important that children maintain their normal brushing routine, too. Fluoride toothpaste is particularly effective, helping to prevent the build up on plaque on teeth in all parts of the mouth.

As children grow and more teeth come through, your dentist may recommend that they’re sealed using the same method, to ensure all teeth have the same level of protection.

How much does the treatment cost?

Independent treatments costs £20, but those who are our our Synplan Membership can receive the treatment for free. This includes all necessary replacements if the sealant should begin to crack.

By Dr Zuber Bagasi