Cavities can often develop in the chewing surfaces of the premolars and molars, which are the larger back teeth. This is because these teeth are designed to grind up food and have lots of intricate grooves and fissures to aid this process. These fissures can trap food and bacteria and are often quite deep and difficult to keep clean.
What are fissure sealants?
Fissure sealants form a protective layer over these tooth surfaces, preventing bacteria and infection and decay. We generally suggest using fissure sealants soon after your child gets their adult back teeth as treatment can only be used on teeth that are free from decay and fillings.
How Do Fissure Sealants Work?
Fissure sealants consist of a very thin layer of strong, flowable plastic, a little like composite resin used to fill teeth. First, clean tooth surfaces are lightly etched to create a stronger bond between the sealant and the tooth. The etching fluid is removed and teeth are thoroughly dried before being painted with the sealant. This material quickly hardens creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.