Sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting your children's teeth from dental decay. A sealant is a protective plastic coating, which is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay.
Sealants are only applied to the back teeth - the molars and premolars - as these are the teeth that have the pits and fissures on their biting surfaces. Your dentist will advise you which teeth should be sealed after they have examined them, and checked whether the fissures are deep enough for sealing to be beneficial. Some teeth naturally form with deep grooves which will need to be sealed, others with shallow ones which will not need sealing.
The process is usually quick and straightforward, taking only a few minutes per tooth. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution, and dried. The liquid sealant is then applied and allowed to set hard - usually by shining an ultraviolet light onto it.
Sealants usually last for many years, but your dentist will want to check them regularly to make sure that the seal is still intact. They can wear over time, and sometimes it is necessary to add or replace some sealant to be sure that no decay can start underneath them.
Sealants are often applied as soon as the permanent teeth start to come through. This is usually between 6 and 7 years of age. The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear which can be any time between 11 and 14 years of age.
Yes. Good oral hygiene is still an absolute necessity. The smooth, sealed surface is now much easier to keep clean and healthy with normal toothbrushing. Use of fluoride toothpaste will also help to protect your children's teeth. Pit & Fissure sealing reduces tooth decay and therefore the number of fillings your child might need.
If you would like to know more about the treatment, consult your dentist or hygienist. They will tell you if fissure sealing will help your children's teeth, and if it is the right time to do it.
North Kolkata Branch
South Kolkata Branch
Teeth Care Multispeciality Dental Clinic
Dr Sanket Chakraverty had done his B.D.S from Meenakshi Ammal Dental College, Chennai in 2008.He finished his M.D.S in Maxilofacial Prosthodontics & Implantology from Sree Balaji Dental College, Chennai in 2012 with 2nd rank.