Fissure sealants are protective coatings bonded to the deep grooves of newly erupted adult teeth to prevent them from decaying. In adult molars, the grooves on the chewing surface of the teeth are too deep for toothbrush bristles to reach. Food particles and sugars can be trapped in the deepest parts of the groove and provide the fuel for acid producing bacteria to create holes. The adult first molars are the most commonly filled teeth due to decay!
In the mid-1960s, Drs. Michael Buonocore and E. I. Cueto introduced the first commercial sealant. The dental sealant has been stated as one of the most significant advances in modern dentistry. This simple, yet innovative, idea acts as a barrier preventing acid and bacteria from resting in pit and fissures destroying enamel.
The chewing surfaces of the teeth are cleaned, then prepared for resin to be flowed into the fissures (deep grooves). The resin is set by a special light which means the procedure only takes a matter of minutes per tooth. They are usually made from tooth coloured resin.
Sealants last many years, but may chip or wear over time and need to be replaced. We will check on your sealants at each regular visit to ensure they are doing their job!