(synonyms: pit and fissure sealants/fissure sealants)
Sealing of teeth is an innovative method, designed to protect temporary and permanent child teeth from the development of caries on occlusal surfaces.
The fissures on chewing surfaces in children’s teeth are deep, with low mineralization and one of the first places that are attacked by tooth decay. This is due to the filling of the deep fissures with dental plaque, which cannot be cleaned. The plaque affects the low mineralized bottom of the fissure and very quickly leads to the development of caries.
Sealing is a dental treatment, including the covering of deep fissures with a sealant. The sealant is a polymeric material in a liquid state with high strength and is transparent or has the same colour as the tooth, and in some cases fluorine ions may be added in its composition to accelerate the process of mineralization. Before proceeding to dental sealing, the fissure must be thoroughly cleaned to ensure that there is no caries.
In properly cleaned and healthy deep fissures, the surface of the tooth is prepared for sealing and a small amount of sealant is applied, which is spread on the chewing surface. The thin layer of sealant is hardened using a photo lamp. The procedure for placing the sealant is short, completely painless and does not cause any discomfort to the child. Sealant as a material is more fragile than the photopolymer material used for fillings and as a result of normal chewing of the child, it is erased with time. This requires periodic monitoring and, if needed, replacement during a period of 8 months to 1 year.
Sealing is applied in temporary and permanent children’s teeth, and when properly done, the sealants can provide almost 100% protection against the development of caries in occlusal surfaces. Placing sealants should be done as soon as possible after the growth of the temporary and permanent children’s teeth. From the temporary teeth (milk teeth, baby teeth, primary teeth), the molars are suitable for dental sealants, while from the permanent teeth – the molars and the premolars. Dental sealants, as every method in dental prophylaxis, is non-invasive and saves money, because the cost of a sealant is half lower than the price of a photopolymer filling, and unlike putting a filling, dental sealants do not require preparation of the tooth.