PIT AND FISSURE SEALANTS
The top surfaces of your teeth – where the chewing takes place – aren’t smooth and flat. They are crisscrossed with tiny hills and valleys – called pits and fissures. These are places where plaque can build up, safe from your toothbrush and dental floss. Some of the pits and fissures are so narrow that even a single bristle from your toothbrush can’t get deep enough to clean them out.
One method of preventing cavities from developing in the pits and fissures is to seal them off with a special plastic coating called a pit and fissure sealant. If your health professional determines that you need a pit and fissure sealant to help protect your teeth from decay, some special steps are taken to prepare the teeth first. Your health professional will clean the tooth first, then, apply a mild acid solution to ‘etch’ the surface and make it easier for the pit and fissure sealant to stick. The whole procedure is quick and painless.
Keeping the area dry and away from your saliva during the application is very important. If the tooth gets wet, the sealant might not stick properly. Once everything is ready, your dental hygienist will paint the fissure sealant on to the pits and fissures on your tooth surface. A special kind of light cures the sealant and makes it ready for use.