Pit & Fissure Sealants
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to prevent decay. The resin flows into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of teeth. The sealants protect tooth enamel from the bacteria and acids that cause tooth decay.
Why can’t I just brush and floss?
While brushing and flossing help to remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, toothbrush bristles often can’t reach into the pits and fissures. Sealants protect these areas by preventing food and bacteria from getting in.
Does it hurt?
No local anaesthetic is required when placing a sealant in the pits and fissures of a tooth. There is no needle and no drilling.
How does the dentist apply a sealant?
Your dentist can apply sealants and it takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. The dentist first cleans the teeth, then he or she will roughen the chewing surfaces with a mild etchant solution, which will help the sealant stick to the teeth. The dentist finally paints the sealant on the tooth. It bonds directly to the tooth and hardens.
Are sealants just for kids?
Decay can often occur in children, so dentists usually apply sealants to childrens’ and teenagers’ premolars and molars to protect them. Sealants can protect adult teeth too. Ask your dentist about sealants for your children or for yourself to see if they would be beneficial.
How long do they last?
As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. The risk of decay decreases significantly after sealant application. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
Are sealants safe?
Sealants are extremely safe.