Fissure sealants are plastic coatings that are painted on to the grooves of the back teeth.
The sealant forms a protective layer that keeps food and bacteria from getting stuck in the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay.
Resin-based fissure sealants should be applied to the permanent molars of all children as early after eruption as possible.
The process is usually quick and easy taking only a few minutes per tooth.
The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution, and dried. The sealant is then applied and allowed to set hard – usually by shining a blue light onto it.
How long does fissure sealant last?
Sealant usually last for many years, but needs to be checked regularly to make sure that the seal is intact.
It can wear over time, and sometimes needs to be added to or replaced to be sure that no decay can start underneath it.
Research shows that fluoride varnish is highly effective at reducing tooth decay if it is applied between twice and four times a year. Fluoride varnish should be applied at least twice yearly in all children.