Fissure Sealants

Sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting your teeth from decay
Sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting your teeth from decay.

A sealant is a protective plastic coating, which is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay.

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Pit and fissure sealants were designed specifically for three preventive effects:
  1. Sealants occupy the pits and fissures of teeth with a resin material;
  2. As the pits and fissures are filled up, bacteria are not able to go deep into grooves, and this causes less “bad’ bacteria to be present on the tooth; teeth with fissure sealants are 22 times less likely to develop decay than those that have not been filled; and
  3. Sealants render the pits and fissures easier to clean during brushing and chewing, as food particles do not get trapped as easily when you have deep fissures.
Which teeth should be sealed?

Sealants are only applied to the back teeth – the molars and premolars. These are the teeth that have ‘pits’ (small hollows) and ‘fissures’ (grooves) on their biting surfaces. Your dental team will tell you which teeth should be sealed after they have examined them, and checked whether the fissures are deep enough for sealing to help. Some teeth naturally have deep grooves which will need to be sealed; others have shallow ones which will not need sealing.

What is involved?

The process is usually quick and straightforward, taking only a few minutes for each tooth. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution, and dried. The liquid sealant is then applied and allowed to set hard – usually by shining a bright light onto it.

Will I feel it?

No, it is totally pain free, and the teeth do not feel any different afterwards.

How long do pit and fissure sealants last?

Sealants usually last for many years, but your dental team will want to check them regularly to make sure that the seal is still intact. They can wear over time, and sometimes the dental team need to add or replace some sealant to be sure that no decay can start underneath it.

How do pit and fissure sealants work?

The sealant forms a smooth, protective barrier by covering all the little grooves and dips in the surface of the tooth. Dental decay easily starts in these grooves if they are not sealed.

When should this be done?

Sealants are often applied as soon as the first permanent teeth start to come through. This is usually between 6 and 7 years of age. The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear which can be any time between 11 and 14 years of age.

Do I still have to clean my teeth?

Yes. It is still very important to do this. The smooth, sealed surface is now much easier to keep clean and healthy with normal brushing. Using a fluoride toothpaste, last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, will help to protect your teeth. Pit and fissure sealing reduces tooth decay and the number of fillings you might need.

The content on the LifeCare Dental website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice received from your dentist, doctor or other registered health professionals. LifeCare Dental makes no claim as to the accuracy or authenticity of this content.

Additionally, LifeCare Dental does not accept liability to any person for the information or advice provided on this website or incorporated into it by reference. Content has been prepared for Western Australian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don't have all the required information to complete a form?

If you do not have all the required information such as a Medicare card number, you will need to contact your practice's administration staff in-person or by calling them on 9221 2777 (Perth City) 9409 3619 (Kingsway) so they can advise you of how to proceed.

What if I don't know how to get the information I need?

If you're unsure how to get the information you need to complete the form, you will need to contact your practice's administration staff in-person or by calling them on 9221 2777 (Perth City) or 9409 3619 (Kingsway) so they can advise you of how to proceed.

Why can’t I submit my form?

There may be outstanding required fields that you need to answer before submitting your form. You should see each field that requires an answer in a red box at the bottom of your form. Once you have answered all fields, if a signature is required, you must sign your signature electronically using your mouse or fingers in the box provided.

If you are still unable to complete the form, you can fill out the form on paper at the clinic before your appointment.

I’ve already submitted this form, do I need to do it again?

If you have already submitted this form to your practice, you do not need to complete the form again. If you're unsure whether the practice received your form submission, we suggest contacting the practice directly by calling them on 9221 2777 (Perth City) 9409 3619 (Kingsway) to ask them directly.

Still have more questions?
Contact our reception team for more information
9221 2777 (Perth City)
9409 3619 (Kingsway)