Pit and Fissure Sealants : Everything You Need to Know

pit-and-fissure-sealants

What are Pit and Fissure Sealants?

A sealant is a protective plastic coating, which is applied to the chewing 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. They are the cornerstones of modern preventive dentistry in the prevention of
caries susceptible teeth.

Which teeth should be sealed?

Sealants are only applied to the back teeth – the molars and premolars. These are the teeth that have
‘pits’ (small hollows) and ‘fissures’ (grooves) on their chewing surfaces. Some teeth naturally have deep
grooves which will need to be sealed; others have shallow ones which will not need sealing.

What is the process involved?

The process is usually, taking minimal time. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special
solution, and dried. The liquid sealant is then applied and allowed to set hard – usually by focussing a
specialized light onto it.

Is Pit and Fissure a Painful Treatment?

It is totally pain-free, generally there is no difference felt afterwards.

How long does pit and fissure sealants last?

Sealants usually last for many years, but your Doctor will check them regularly may call you for regular
checkups to make sure that the seal is still intact. They can wear over time, and sometimes the dental
team needs to add or replace some sealant to be sure that no decay can start underneath it.

How do Pit and Fissure sealants work?

The sealant forms a smooth, protective barrier they cover all the little crests and troughs on the surface of the tooth. Dental decay may easily start in these grooves if they are not sealed since these grooves serve as a harbour for bacteria and food particles. Once we seal them, the chance of food getting stuck to them is negligible.

When should you do a Pit and Fissure sealant

Sealants are often applied as soon as the first permanent teeth start to erupt in the mouth. This is
usually between 6 and 7 years of age. The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear which can be
any time between 11 and 14 years of age.

Do we still have to clean those sealed teeth?

Yes. It is mandatory still to keep the teeth clean. The smooth, sealed surface is now much easier to keep
clean and healthy with normal brushing. Using fluoride toothpaste, the last thing at night and at least one other time during the day will help to protect your teeth. Pit and fissure sealing reduces tooth decay and the number of fillings your child might need.

Key Indications of Pit and Fissure Sealants

  • Deep retentive pit and fissures
  • Stained pit and fissures
  • Caries free pit and fissures
  • Increased caries indices
  • Routine dental care

Contraindications of Pit and Fissure Sealants

  • Well cleansing pit and fissures
  • Radiographic or clinical evidence of interproximal caries
  • Tooth not fully erupted
  • Life expectancy is limited

Different types of sealants for Pit and Fissure Treatment

  • Fluoride releasing sealants
  • Clear pit and fissure sealants
  • Coloured sealants
  • Fluorescing pit and fissure sealant
  • Sealants with ACP