7. Fissure Sealants

All teeth with deep occlusal fissures or grooves, or rough and rugged enamel surfaces, are especially in danger of caries attack.

Deep occlusal fissures offer food remnants a place to lodge, making it possible to adhere bacteria. Furthermore the toothbrush is helpless in such a situation. The bacteria multiply rapidly and as a sticky mass adhere to the teeth and aggressively produce acid. We offer our patients professional fissure sealants; with this, the posterior teeth can be protected for many years from caries attack.

Questions & Answers

What are fissure sealants?
Fissure sealants are white plastic resin coatings that are painted onto the biting surface of the back teeth.

Why are fissure sealants recommended?
The top surfaces of the back teeth where the chewing takes place are not smooth and flat. They are cris-crossed with tiny hills and valleys called pits and fissures. To prevent cavities in the pits and fissures, we can seal them off with a special varnish. This reduces the risk of decay six times compared to a tooth without fissure sealants.

At what age would we advise fissure sealants?
The molars should have been completely erupted into the oral cavity with matured enamel. Teeth that should be fissure-sealed have to be isolated with good moisture control to have the best adhesive property. The fissure sealant should be administered soon after the teeth’s eruption into the oral cavity. It is more common to seal permanent molars, but there are cases where we will recommend them for the primary teeth.

How do fissure-sealants seal the teeth?
The teeth ready to be fissure-sealed will be cleaned with an etching-gel and thoroughly rinsed with water to render the occlusal surface oil-free. Under absolute dry conditions a thin-flowing composite material will be applied onto the fissures, and with a special UV-lamp, the composite would be hardened. With the fissure sealant, the teeth are protected.

How often should the sealant be renewed?
The renewing of the fissure sealant depends on the oral care and the diet of the child. On average a fissure-sealed tooth may need to be renewed every four years and checked at least twice a year. But, there are cases where they last well into adulthood.