Fissure seals are not a variety of aquatic animals that live in Antarctica.
Dental fissure seals are a coating that is put on the biting surfaces of children’s back teeth to help minimise decay in the grooves of the teeth.
When molars and premolars (back teeth) grow, they often have naturally occurring pits and fissures (deep grooves) that are part of the shape of the tooth.
Most of the time, the molars have the most grooves. However the teeth at the front (incisors and canines) can also have pits and fissures.
Even with careful cleaning using a soft toothbrush,the debris that collects in these fissures or pits cannot be effectively removed. This is because the diameter of the toothbrush bristle is much bigger than the width of the fissure and the bristle won’t fit. The debris, containing bacteria stays undisturbed in the pits and fissures on the tooth’s surface, producing acid that causes tooth decay.
The pulp (nerve) in children’s teeth is larger and is closer to the hard enamel coating on the tooth. If decay starts to eat away the enamel, the risks of pulp exposure and toothache are greatly increased. And that’s not pleasant!
That’s where the fissure seals come in…….
Dentists clean out the pits and fissures to remove the debris and bacteria. This is often done using very fine grit which is blown onto the tooth and washed away.
Once the pits and fissures are clean, dentists will place a thin coating on the tooth which runs into the pits and fissures and seals them off to bacteria.
These pit and fissure seals generally remain on the teeth for a number of years. They protect the teeth and help provide a barrier against decay. However, brushing and flossing are still an essential part of keeping teeth healthy and decay free.
Often, we see teenagers and even adults who have traces of original fissures seals on their molars!
Fissure seals are a painless, non-invasive way to protect children’s precious teeth from decay.
If you have any questions or would like to consult our dental team, please contact Renton Dental 07 3369 2340 or firstname.lastname@example.org