A fissure sealant is a protective plastic coating which is applied to the chewing surface of a child’s molars. The purpose of the sealant is to protect the teeth that are at risk of decay. Molars have small grooves (known as fissures), which makes the teeth difficult to clean thoroughly, allowing bacteria and food particles to stick to the teeth and eventually cause decay.
With fissure sealants, the grooves are completely sealed off, preventing bacteria and food particles from entering, without hindering the normal chewing function of the teeth.
Here are some commonly Q&A on fissure sealants:
How is the procedure done?
The fissure gets checked for decay; then the tooth surface gets cleaned. Once the tooth is cleaned, it gets prepared with a special solution before the sealant is applied and allowed to dry and harden on the tooth.
Why is fissure sealant needed?
When there are deep fissures on a tooth, plaque can easily accumulate in those areas where brushing can’t reach. This causes cavities which will need to be filled with dental fillings.
When should you get fissure sealants?
Typically, the first permanent molars should be sealed when a child is between the age of 6 and seven years old.
Is this process painful?
Since this procedure does not involve injections or drilling, it is completely pain-free.
How long does the fissure sealant last?
Fissure sealants can last for many years but need to be checked regularly to ensure that the seal is still intact. When it starts to show signs of wear and tear it will need to be replaced so that no decay can build up underneath it.
Do the teeth require special care afterwards?
No special care is needed after the fissures have been sealed. However, proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are required as the other teeth still need attention.
Fissure sealants go a long way to protect the teeth of children and that they most probably would never need fillings. If your child has not had his or her fissures sealed, contact Corne Smith Dentistry in Claremont, Cape Town dentist as soon as possible.
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