A dental pit and fissure sealant is a protective layer used to prevent tooth decay on the molars. The exposed surfaces of chewing teeth are not adequately protected due to the anatomy of molars, resulting in the formation of pits, fissures, and cavities. To achieve the best possible natural tooth appearance, these pit and fissure sealants are either white or transparent in color. The sealants act as a barrier against the most dangerous bacteria that can cause plaque formation. This procedure is typically performed on younger patients shortly after their permanent teeth have erupted.
Procedure of applying sealant to the teeth
Pit and fissure sealants are a quick and painless procedure used by patients who are at risk of developing pit and fissure caries in their back teeth. To increase retention, surface area, and the strength of the bond between the sealant and the tooth surface, a phosphoric acid etchant is used to create micro-porosities into which the sealant material can flow. It takes about 15 to 60 seconds to etch. The tooth is then thoroughly rinsed and dried for 15 to 20 seconds. The presence of a chalky appearance on the dried tooth indicates that it has been properly etched.
The sealant is then applied to the teeth’s prepared pits and fissures. Prior to curing, the material is left for 10 seconds to allow the sealant material to penetrate the pores created by the etching procedure. Finally, a curing light is used to harden the sealant, which usually takes 20 to 30 seconds. There is no need for local anesthesia, and no drilling is required, unlike with a filling.
Sealants are used in a dental fissure treatment procedure in a variety of ways. This liquid material is applied to the tooth’s smooth surface and dried to form a hard coating over the teeth. To allow this liquid to flow into the tooth’s pits and fissures, the sealants must have a lower viscosity.
Following are the most common types of sealants used:
Polyacid Modified Resins
Resin Modified Glass Ionomers
Things to consider after a pit fissure sealant procedure
It is critical for patients to keep their teeth clean and maintain healthy oral hygiene after undergoing a pit fissure sealant procedure. Brushing the teeth is simple for patients because the bristles of the brush can reach all surfaces of the teeth. The sealant forms a tough shield over the molars, preventing decay on the teeth’s surface.
The pit and fissure sealants usually last for five years or more, but in some cases, the sealant may come out within six months. Then you should make an appointment with a dentist and follow their instructions. In fact, it is critical to see a dentist on a regular basis for a checkup to ensure that the sealant is in good working order.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pit and fissure sealants are preventative rather than restorative in nature. They are designed to keep permanent molars from decaying as soon as they erupt into the oral cavity. They are advised for use by children and adolescents.
Yes. Sealants can wear off over the course of 5 to 10 years and should therefore be checked at regular dental appointments.
Foods that are hard, sticky, or chewy can be harmful. Biting into hard foods such as ice, hard candies, and so on can cause the sealants to break. Chewy and sticky foods, such as gummy candy and caramel, can adhere to the sealant and pull it off. By avoiding these foods, sealants will last longer and provide the best protection possible.
Sealants are extremely effective at preventing cavities because they act as a physical barrier between caries-prone fissures. The ability of a pit and fissure sealant to prevent dental caries, on the other hand, is highly dependent on its ability to adhere to the tooth surface.