You've heard the expression, "prevention is better than cure," and it has never been more true than in dental health. Avoiding damage to your teeth through sound oral care beats trying to fix problems after they arise. Pit and fissure sealants, for example, are one of several methods for staving off the decay that leads to dental caries.
Even though pits and fissues do occur naturally, they can deepen over time, leading to dental caries, so a child whose teeth show signs of pits and fissures may be a prime candidate for dental sealants. Pits are small hollows that occur on the biting surfaces of permanent teeth, as described by the International Dental Health Foundation, whereas fissures are grooves in the outside of the tooth's surface. In both cases, these areas can easily fill with bacteria, which may be difficult to remove with regular oral hygiene.
What is the purpose of pit and fissure sealants?
A sealant is a clear or opaque plastic material that is applied to the pits and fissures of teeth where decay occurs most often. The purpose of the sealant is to provide a physical barrier to occlude pits and fissures and to protect them from bacteria and food.
How long do fissure sealants last?
How long do fissure sealants last? They should last at least a couple of years, but it depends on the quality and how well they've been placed. We have seen some last as long as 15 years. If a fissure sealant has been done poorly, or if X-rays reveal decay underneath it, it will need to be removed.
Can adults get fissure sealants?
This seals the deep grooves (fissures) in your teeth, forms a barrier and protects the tooth from plaque and dietary acids. Both children and adults can benefit from the application of fissure sealants. Sealants generally last for many years.
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