Pit and fissure sealants are tooth coloured coatings which bond to the naturally developed deep crevices of your tooth; keeping bacteria and sugars out in order to prevent dental decay.
If you are someone who engages in a high sugar diet and irregular dental hygiene,you should consider fissure sealants as a great preventive measure.
What does a pit and fissure sealant mean?
The grooves of your teeth found on the biting/chewing surfaces are referred to as fissures. Where these fissures meet, a pit is formed. Dental material that is used to cover these areas are ultimately “sealing” these deep areas and therefore the term ‘pit and fissure sealants’. A dental practitioner may commonly refer to pit and fissure sealants as ‘fissure seals’ or simply, ‘seals’.
When is a pit and fissure sealant recommended?
When pit and fissures of the teeth extend deep, they become prone to retaining plaque and food and therefore also prone to dental decay. If a tooth is sound, a fissure sealant applied to the tooth can cover these areas and protect the tooth’s chewing surface from forming cavities. Additionally, if you are someone who engages in a high sugar diet and irregular dental hygiene,you should consider fissure sealants as a great preventive measure. It is important to note a fissure sealant only protects the top surface of a tooth, interproximal areas (between teeth) cannot be sealed which is why regular dental hygiene is still very essential.
What colour is a pit and fissure sealant?
Sealants are tooth coloured (white), and are placed skillfully on the fissures of the tooth by a dental practitioner where the tooth remains aesthetically pleasing.
More Frequently Asked Questions About Fissure Sealants
Do pit and fissure sealants hurt?
Pit and fissure sealants are a non-invasive procedure so they are not painful. Often dental practitioners compare fissure sealants with painting your fingernails, simply “painting” (sealing) a tooth.
How do you apply a pit and fissure sealant?
For a sealant to effectively bond to a tooth, prior cleaning is required. The tooth’s surface is prepared by the following steps; applying an etchant gel, rinsing, drying, applying a bonding agent, and finally filling the pit/fissure using a sealant material (resin gel). A small light is used to cure (harden) the material and allow for it to set.
How long does a pit and fissure sealant procedure take?
A sealant per tooth generally takes only a few minutes, under some circumstances if compliance is limited or the tooth is difficult to access it may take additional time. More time can also be required if multiple sealants are taking place at the same appointment.
How long does a pit and fissure sealant last?
The type of material used for the sealant may depend on how long the sealant can last. In some special circumstances a temporary material may be used and close monitoring of the tooth is required until a permanent sealant can be placed. Generally a permanent resin material is used for fissure sealants however teeth are constantly exposed to natural wear and occlusal forces therefore there is no concrete answer on how long it will last. If the sealant has been worn down your dental practitioner will simply repair or “top up” the fissure sealant.
Can adults have pit and fissure sealants?
Yes, adults can have fissure sealants.
Can I eat after a pit and fissure sealant procedure?
A special curing light is utilised to set the dental material immediately during the procedure. Therefore you do not need to avoid eating or drinking after.
Can pit and fissure sealants be removed?
Yes, pit and fissure sealants can be removed by a dental practitioner however sealants may overtime wear down themselves.
What is a pit and fissure sealant made of?
Dental composite resins are generally used as pit and fissure sealants. These composites are composed of plastic polymers (including bisphenols), silica and a synthetic glass complex.