Fissures refer to the pits and grooves found in the chewing surfaces on the back teeth (pre-molars and molars).
In some patients, these fissures can be very deep and narrow which can result in an accumulation of food residue within them. It has now become common day practice to use fissure sealants to fill in the pits and grooves of the molar adult teeth of children – to prevent tooth decay. For Australian kids eating a diet high in refined sugars and starches, it is important to use fissure sealants to protect their molar teeth from decay.
A fissure sealant is a plastic resin material that is applied to the pits and grooves in order to seal them off from food residue and bacterial acid. Some fissure sealants are made of glass ionomer cements which can penetrate better into deeper fissures.
All sealants we use at Healthy Smile Dental contain fluoride releasing materials as well. This means that not only are teeth protected from bacterial acids, they are also strengthened by the fluoride being released which helps to prevent pit and fissure caries (cavities).
Fissure sealants are durable, but they can suffer general wear and tear, or even chip off and break. However, they are easily restored with more fissure sealant material. Sealants usually last for 1 to 3 years.