Fissure sealants

Fissure sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting young newly erupted adult teeth from dental decay. They can be applied as soon as the permanent molar teeth start to come through. This is usually between five and seven years of age, with the rest teeth being sealed as they appear in the mouth during later years.

A sealant is a protective plastic coating, which is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay. In children decay usually starts in these grooves, and this is a very effective method of helping to reduce the risk. Fissure sealants can actually stop further decay when placed on top of a slightly decayed tooth by sealing off the supply of nutrients to the bacteria that cause a cavity.

The process is usually quick and straightforward, taking only a few minutes per tooth. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special etching solution, and dried. The liquid sealant is then applied and set using a special light. The procedure is totally pain free, and the teeth do not feel any different afterwards.

Sealants can last for many years. They can wear over time, and sometimes it is necessary to add or replace some sealant to be sure that no decay can start underneath them.

Either the hygienist or the dentist applies the fissure sealants.

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Fissure sealants available at a West Sussex dentist