They are only applied to the back teeth – the molars and premolars. These are the teeth that have ‘pits’ (small hollows) and ‘fissures’ (grooves) on their biting surfaces. Therefore, they are also known as pit and fissure sealants.The pits and grooves can easily accumulate plaque. They are therefore a common site for decay to start. Sealants are usually recommended for children and teenagers since the rate of decay thereafter is usually much lower.
Some teeth naturally have deep grooves; others have shallow ones. After we have examined them, we will let you know which teeth are likely at risk.
The process is usually quick and straightforward, taking only a few minutes for each tooth. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution, and dried. The flowable material is then applied and allowed to set hard – usually by shining a bright light on it.
Will I feel it?
No, it is totally pain free, and the teeth do not feel any different afterwards.
How long do pit and fissure sealants last?
They usually last for many years, but we will want to check them regularly to make sure that the seal is still intact. It can wear over time, and sometimes we need to add or replace some sealant to be sure that no decay can start around and underneath it.
How do pit and fissure sealants work?
They form a smooth, protective barrier by covering all the little grooves and dips in the surface of the tooth. Dental decay easily starts in these grooves otherwise.
What Material do We Use?
In the mainstream a material specially made for the purpose is used for sealants. That material releases BPA in tiny amounts for a short time after placement. At Growing Beautiful Smiles, we use a flowable filling material instead. While this material might also release BPA the available evidence suggests that is less likely.
When Should Sealants Be Done?
Sealants are often applied as soon as the first permanent teeth start to come into the mouth – usually between 6 and 7 years of age. The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear which can be any time between 8 and 14 years of age.