What are they and why are they necessary?
A fissure sealant is a thin plastic protective coating that covers grooves in the surface of molar teeth. This coating acts as a barrier to protect the chewing surface of teeth from plaque and acid attacks.
Back teeth (premolars and molars) have pits and grooves on the biting surface, which can be difficult to clean. Food particles are easily trapped in these grooves, making them the perfect location for the bacteria responsible for plaque to breed.
Fissure sealants can be effective in preventing further decay, especially in areas that aren’t easily accessed by toothbrushes in the hands of kids and teenagers, who might still be developing the skills needed to brush teeth properly, or are perhaps not as attentive as they should be.
Fissure sealants fill the grooves that form when decay occurs. This makes it much easier for patients (even kids and teenagers!) to clean their teeth more effectively, thereby preventing further decay.
The time at which a child’s permanent teeth appear (usually around six years of age) is the best time to apply fissure sealants, because this is when teeth are most at risk of decay.