Protective treatment against decay

Deep pits and grooves, also known as fissures, can be found on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. They are narrow and hard to reach, so no matter how well they are brushed, bacteria can still collect and flourish within them, leading to tooth decay. To help combat this, we can apply fissure sealants to protect your tooth from damage.

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What are fissure sealants?

Fissure sealants are special materials used by dentists to seal off pits and fissures in a tooth from the oral environment. Sealing the tooth surface protects against bacteria and fermentable foods like sugar and starches, preventing decay from starting deep within the fissures.

Any tooth with pits and fissures can be treated, provided the surface to be filled is sound and has not been previously filled. The most commonly treated teeth are the molars and premolars, and the treatment is usually given to children whose permanent teeth are starting to emerge.

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How are fissure sealants applied?

Sealants are applied easily and painlessly, with no drilling required. Initially, we polish your tooth to remove plaque and food debris from the fissure surfaces, before etching it with a special solution.

We carefully rinse the solution off and dry your tooth. We then apply the sealant using a brush, and harden it with a curing light. The sealant quickly bonds with the surface of your tooth, forming a tough protective coating.

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Frequently Asked Questions
How effective are sealants?

Many studies show sealants to be very effective in preventing decay in fissures. They do, however, require regular maintenance by your dentist. This can be performed at your six-monthly check up.

How long do fissure sealants last?

Recent studies show that a properly placed sealant will last many years. Even if a sealant is damaged or lost, it is easily repaired and replaced.

When should sealants be put on the teeth?

Sealants are most effective when applied after the eruption of the tooth, which is usually between six and seven years of age. Early application ensures pits and fissures are sealed before the decay process begins.

How do I look after the sealant on my tooth?

To ensure sealants offer the best protection, it is important they are used in conjunction with a comprehensive dental care routine that includes effective brushing, flossing and a healthy diet. However, treated teeth will have smoother surfaces, so they will be much easier to keep clean.

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01273 452 947 info@shorehamdentist.co.uk

The Dental Practice Mariner Point,
81 Brighton Road
, Shoreham-by-Sea,
West Sussex, BN43 6DG

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