Sealants are a protective plastic coating. Sealants are used to protect the chewing surface of your teeth from forming cavities. Your molars have a chewing surface that naturally has pits and fissures. This is totally normal. However, over time some of those pits, and fissures may naturally deepen. If that happens, then it becomes easier for food to get stuck in there.
The food particles can get stuck, regardless of how properly you brush. Overtime cavities will form. In order to prevent this, Dentists use pit and fissure sealants. The sealant forms a hard shield that prevents food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth. Ultimately this prevents decay and saves the tooth.
Sealants can last for many years. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t visit your dentist to get them checked. In fact, no matter how good your oral health is you should always make an effort to visit your dentist at least twice a year to make sure your oral health is top notch.
Wear and tear are normal. Especially on the chewing surface of your back teeth. Your dentist may deem it necessary to add or replace some sealant in order to prevent decay from happening underneath the sealant.
At our school there are a few pillars of Dental Assisting that we focus on. One of those pillars is Coronal Polishing. You can learn more by clicking the button below!
No, the process is not painful at all. In fact, watch the video to get a better idea of the whole process.
According to the NCBI, “the morphology of the occlusal surface of the molars is extraordinarily variable. Occlusal fissures are deep invaginations of enamel that can be extremely diverse in shape and have been described as broad or narrow funnels, constricted hourglasses, and multiple invaginations with inverted Y shaped divisions and irregularly shaped”.
In short, there are 4 main fissure shapes you need to be aware of. Those shapes are V-type, U-type, I-type, IK-type. Also, the shape of the fissure can influence the penetration of the sealing material. Check out this link to see the different shapes of fissures.
It’s important to note that because of different fissure shapes, it’s not always possible to categorize a tooth as having one particular type of shape. But here’s a quick breakdown.
First, patients who have developed caries in the pits and/or fissures of their molars will need this treatment. However, even patients who have healthy teeth might need this treatment. A dentist might determine that a patient runs a high risk of developing caries. In this case it would make sense to apply the sealant for preventative measures.
There are two main sealants used for pits and fissures. First, we have resin based. Second, we have glass ionomer sealants. According to the NCBI, “Resin-based sealants are the first choice of treatment, and glass ionomer sealants may be utilized as a provisional agent when the placement of a resin-based sealant is indicated, but absolute isolation cannot be achieved, and therefore moisture control is compromised.
Glass ionomer sealants contain fluoride that can help to prevent caries through their release over a prolonged period.”
The rest of the equipment typically includes:
Pit & fissure is a pillar of the dental industry. At Santa Clarita School of Dental Assisting, we prepare our students to be ready for the real world. After completing our 12-week program, one of the things our students get certified in is pit and fissure. We truly hope that this article was able to provide you with value!
Santa Clarita School of Dental Assisting