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Fissure Sealant: Function and Benefits

Dental fissures are tiny grooves or crevices that are naturally present on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. In some cases, these fissures are deep and  can trap food particles, which can lead to tooth decay. Eventually if not treated it will cause pain and discomfort.

Covering these fissures with dental sealants can prevent food trap and bacteria buildup. Hence this will reduce the risk of tooth decay. In addition, covering dental cracks can also improve the overall appearance of teeth and make them easier to clean. This is why it is critical to get dental fissures sealed, especially in children with poor oral hygiene habits and high caries risk patients.

fissure sealant

What are dental fissure sealants?

Denture fissure sealants are a treatment that can help prevent the adverse effects of dental fissures. By filling in the fissures with a resin material, denture fissure sealants create a smooth surface on the teeth that are easier to clean and less likely to trap food and bacteria. This can help prevent tooth decay and the formation of cavities. Additionally, denture fissure sealants are a quick and easy treatment that can be applied in a dental clinic.

Benefits of dental fissure sealants

Here are the most significant benefits of dental fissure sealants. The treatment:

  • Reduces the risk of dental infections
  • Improves the appearance of teeth
  • Makes teeth easier to clean
  • Protects the enamel of teeth
  • Preserves the natural structure of teeth
  • Prevents the need for costly and invasive dental procedures
  • Reduces the sensitivity of teeth
  • Enhances overall oral health
  • Protects against acidic and sugary foods and drinks
  • Can be applied quickly and easily
  • Requires no anesthesia
  • Can last for several years with proper care
  • Fissure sealants can be used on both permanent and baby teeth
  • Can be applied at any age but is especially beneficial for children.

What are dental sealants made up of?

Fissure sealants are made of a strong resin material that can withstand daily tooth function. It serves the purpose while being thin and malleable enough to mold to the tooth and remain attached without interfering with these functions.

When applied, the sealant is soft enough to conform to the tooth’s surface. This is where it acts as a barrier, keeping food from being caught in your child’s molars and premolars. Some dental sealants may also contain fluoride to help strengthen the enamel of teeth and prevent decay.

Who should get dental fissure sealants?

Fissure sealants are a preventative strategy for cavities. Children should use them as soon as their permanent molars emerge. Protecting the teeth as soon as they erupt is vital to keep them in good shape.

Adults with healthy molars and no cavities can also benefit from this type of dental protection to avert future cavities. Fissure sealants function similarly to tooth fillings; however, they are not fillings and cannot be used to treat cavities or on teeth that already have fillings.

How are fissure sealants applied?

Fissure sealants can be applied during a routine dental exam. The tooth is first cleaned to avoid trapping bacteria or food particles. This thorough cleaning also ensures that the sealant is effectively adhered to the tooth and provides an opportunity to determine whether the tooth is free of cavities and is viable for the sealant.

After that, the etching gel is placed on the tooth and allowed to cure for some seconds before removal. This is an additional precaution to ensure that the sealant bonds correctly to the tooth. The etching gel also kills any bacteria left on the tooth after the cleaning.

Following the removal of the etching gel, a liquid resin-based is used to seal off the cracks and pits of your child’s molars and premolars. Although this alters the tooth’s chewing surface, the plastic is thin and does not affect chewing ability.

The sealant is then dried and assessed, including a bite test to ensure that the sealant was applied correctly and does not interfere with your child’s bite.

How do pit sealants work?

Fissure and pit sealants protect your child’s teeth from caries by preventing food from being lodged in susceptible places. It also repairs and protects the other teeth because it includes fluoride. Sealants establish a smooth protective covering over the grooves, pits, and fissures on the tooth’s surface. This protective coating shields the teeth from germs that can lead to decay or cavities by preventing food particles from gathering in these pits and cracks.

Which teeth are most commonly fissure-sealed?

The back molars, or the molars located in the posterior region of the mouth, are the most commonly fissure-sealed teeth. These teeth are typically big and have more complex chewing surfaces, making them more susceptible to cavities. These teeth have the deepest grooves and pits on their chewing surfaces, making them more prone to trapping food particles and bacteria. Covering the fissures of back molars with dental sealants can provide a strong line of defense against tooth decay and the need for costly dental procedures. However, fissure sealants can also be applied to other teeth if necessary.

How long do fissure sealants last?

Fissure sealants are inexpensive and easy to install, even though they wear out over time. Sealants can last for up to six years before they need to be replaced. Cavities frequently form in areas that are difficult to reach with regular brushing and flossing. Protecting these regions before they are infected with the bacteria is an innovative and straightforward strategy to keep cavities at bay.

However, longevity can vary depending on the type of sealant used, oral hygiene habits, and the amount of wear and tear on the teeth. Regular dental checkups are essential to monitor the condition of the sealants and reapply them as needed to ensure maximum protection against tooth decay.

Cost of the fissure sealants treatment

The cost of the fissure sealant treatment at Stellar Dental, Malaysia is RM70 per tooth only.

Can sealants be seen on the teeth? 

Yes, sealants can be seen on the teeth after applying them. However, the sealant material is typically white in color, which is not very noticeable. In addition, the material is applied directly to the grooves and pits of the teeth, so it is not visible when looking at the teeth from the front or side. Overall, sealants are relatively unobtrusive and do not significantly alter the appearance of the teeth.

How to care for the teeth with fissure sealants?

It is critical to take special care of teeth with fissure sealants because they provide a protective barrier against tooth decay and the development of cavities. If the sealants are not cared for, they can become damaged or worn down, leaving the teeth vulnerable to decay. In addition, poor oral hygiene habits can weaken the sealants and increase the risk of tooth decay. Here is how you can take care of your teeth with fissure sealants and maintain excellent oral hygiene.

  • Brush your teeth twice daily to remove plaque and bacteria.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging the sealants.
  • Floss daily to remove food particles between your teeth.
  • Avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks that can damage the sealants and cause tooth decay.
  • Avoid chewing on hard or crunchy foods, such as ice or hard candies, that can damage the sealants.
  • Use a mouthwash containing fluoride to help strengthen the enamel of your teeth and protect the sealants.
  • Avoid grinding your teeth, which can weaken the sealants and cause them to break.
  • Avoid whitening toothpaste or mouthwashes containing harsh chemicals that can damage the sealants.
  • Visit your dentist regularly to ensure the sealants are in good condition.
  • If you notice any problems with the sealants, such as chips or cracks, contact your dentist as soon as possible to have them repaired or replaced.

Do children still have to clean their teeth with fissure sealants?

Children still need to clean their teeth with fissure sealants to maintain good oral health. Even though the fissure sealants provide a protective barrier against tooth decay and cavities, they do not eliminate the need for regular brushing and flossing. Food particles and bacteria can still accumulate on the teeth and around the sealants, so children must continue practicing good oral hygiene.

Are there any cons to getting fissure sealants?

There are a few potential cons of getting fissure sealants. One possible disadvantage is that the sealants may not effectively prevent tooth decay and cavities in all cases. While the sealants can provide a strong line of defense against bacteria and food particles, they may only be able to prevent some cases of tooth decay. In addition, the sealants may become damaged or worn down over time, requiring replacement or repair. Finally, some people may have an allergy (although very rare) to the sealant material, leading to irritation or discomfort in the mouth. The benefits of fissure sealants generally outweigh the potential cons. Still, discussing the pros and cons with your dentist before deciding whether to get the treatment is important.

Final words

In conclusion, dental fissure sealants are a safe and effective way to protect against tooth decay and the development of cavities. Fissure sealants can effectively prevent the buildup of bacteria and food particles, reducing the risk of cavities and other dental problems. Stellar Dental offers high-quality dental fissure sealant treatments that are quick, painless, and affordable. Our team of experienced dentists can ensure that your teeth are properly sealed and protected, preserving the health and beauty of your smile. Visit Stellar Dental today for a dental examination and take the first step towards a healthier and more confident smile.

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