Fissure Sealants

What are fissure sealants?

Some children have very deep fissures (crevices) in their permanent back teeth, which can be difficult to keep clean. These fissures can be sealed with a resin film to protect the surface from decay. They are quick and painless to apply and can last for several years.

Who should get fissure sealants?

Both children and adults can benefit from sealants. However, the earlier you get them, the better. Your first molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run.

How are fissure sealants put in place?

The dentist will clean and dry your tooth before placing an acidic gel on your teeth. This gel roughs up your tooth surface so a strong bond will form between your tooth and the sealant. After a few moments, your dentist will rinse off this gel and dry your tooth once more before applying the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth. Your dentist will then use a special blue light to harden the sealant.

Can fissure sealants be placed over cavities?

Sealants can be used over areas of early decay to prevent further damage to your tooth. Because some sealants are clear, your dentist can keep an eye on the tooth to make sure the sealant is doing its job.