Fissure sealants are thin plastic coatings painted on the groovy surface of the back teeth. The placement is a simple and completely painless procedure performed in the dental chair by your dentist or oral health therapist.
Fissure sealants prevent the food and germs getting caught in the pits and grooves of the back teeth, which ultimately results in tooth decay.
Which teeth should we seal?
Sealants should be placed on all permanent molars as they erupt into the mouth. The first molars erupt between the ages of 5 and 7. The second molars erupt between the ages of 11 and 14.
Baby teeth too?
Some children are especially prone to decay and sealants can help prevent decay in the baby teeth too.
The baby teeth are important to hold the space for the permanent teeth. It is important to keep these teeth healthy and to avoid the dangerous effects of premature loss of the primary teeth.
What about adults?
All teeth with pits and grooves will benefit from the preventive aspect of fissure sealants.
Does insurance and Medicare pay?
Those eligible for treatment under the Medicare scheme for children's dental care are covered for fissure sealants. Most medical health funds provide generous rebate towards the cost of fissure sealants.
How long do they last?
Sealants can last up to 10 years, but need to be checked regularly as they can chip and wear away.