Fissure sealants are materials that are designed to prevent pits and fissures
caries by removing areas of stagnations of micro -organisms and food debris on
Sealant is a clear or opaque plastic material that is applied to the pits and
fissures of teeth where decay occurs most often.
The purpose of the sealant is to provide a physical barrier to occlude pits
and fissures and to protect them from bacteria and food.
Because the sealant obli terates the deeper and more tortuous anatomy, it
also facilitates oral hygiene efforts because the sealed tooth is easier to
Ideal properties1- Should flow over the surface of clean enamel.
2- Should be inert in the mouth.
3- Should have low vi scosity on mixing so that surface spreading is rapid.
4- Should penetrate the etched enamel surface.
5- Should exhibit adequate mechanical properties on setting (strength,
ClassificationA- Depending on the type of curing:
1- First generation sealants (ultra violet light).
2- Second generation sealant (auto polymerization).
3- Third generation sealant (visible light cured).
Now a day lasers are used f or curing due to the following : Reduction in setting tim e .
Control of specific radiation.
Control of area of exposure.
Decrease in the percentage of unpolymerized resin.
B- According to color:1- Transparent - clear , pink, amber.
2- opaque -tooth colored, white.
C- According to fluoride content:1- fluoridated.
2- non - fluoridated.
E- According to filler content:1- filled.
3- semi -filled.
Age of application for pit and fissure sealant. 3-4 years -primary molars.
6-7 years -first permanent molar s.
11 -13 years -second permanent molar s and premolars.
Advantage s1- It is non invasive technique, prevent tooth decay.
2- Fluoride released from fluoridated sealant can confer protection to
3- Sealant can be used at the community level for prevention of caries.
Disadvantage s1. Inadvertent placement over carious lesion.
2. Technique sensitivity.
3. Caries susceptibility of etched enamel.
4. Economic feasibility.
Indications1- Recently erupted teeth.
2- Molar s and premolars .3- Deep narrow retentive pit and fissures.
4- Sound proximal surfaces.
5- Patients receiving appropriate syste mic or topical fluoride therapy and
are still caries active.
Selection of teethConsiderations :
Contraindications1- Teeth remain caries free for 4 or more than 4 years.
2- Wide self cleansing pit and fissures.
3- Proximal caries present.
4- Patient is not cooperating in child preventive program. The restoration is
Chemical cure sealant materialsAdvantages:
No cure light or risk of eye damage.
Can apply sealants to several teeth at same time .
Disadvantages: Variation in setting time (appx 2 min).
Voids from mixing material.
Changes in viscosity over time.
Light cured seala nt materialsAdvantages:
Short setting time (appx 20 seconds).
No mixing required.
Does not get thick.
Disadvantages: Potential eye damage due to light cure.
Additional cost of cure light.
Cure time increased with number of teeth sealed.
Difficult to manipulate cure light for posterior teeth.
Sealant Kits• Drying and/or bonding agent (optional)
• Acid etch
• Sealant material
Give the patient communication before treatmentVerbal instructions : I will be placing a dental sealant on your teeth – it’s like a
thin plastic coating on top of the tooth and will help prevent cavities . If you
have any problems then raise your left hand .
Steps of application1-Prepare the tooth
Bristle brush or rubber cup and plain pumice.
Sharp explorer to clean out debris
2- Check occlusion Avoid placing acid etch and sealant on marked areas from articulator paper.
3- Isolation: Rubb er dam isolation.
Cotton roll. (maxillary teeth, both covers the parotid duct and isolates the
Anti -sialagogue treatment.
good mo isture control is the issue, not the particular method used.
4- Etching tooth surface:Acid e tch is available as gel or liquid . The tooth is etched with 30 -40% solution of
phosphoric acid to d issolves inorganic portion of enamel and produce micro
retentive holes .
Acid etch Precautions :Avoid contact with adjacent teeth or soft tissues , by use mylar strips or matrix
Apply acid etch Etch pit and fissures, Extend 1 -2 mm beyond pit and fissures.
Avoid cusp tips
Phosphoric acid concentrations available as 30% -40
It d issolves in organic portion of enamel and leads to the formation of
micro -retentive porosity or holes “micromechanical retention”
Creates more surface area for better adhesion
The etching time is 30 sec. for permanent teeth.
While for primary teeth an etching time of 30-60 sec is recommended as
Primary teeth possess a layer of prismless enamel which is difficult to etch,
also the organic content of primary enamel is more due to lower mineral
content a nd higher internal prism volume which may contribute to lower
Acid conditioning enhances enamel porosity.
Increases the surface area and further cleans the enamel surface.
Acid conditioning should be limited to the tooth surfaces that will be sealed
and care should be taken to keep the acid away from all soft tissues.
5-Washing and drying The surface must be washed with water for 10 -20 sec. and dried for 10 sec.
finally must have opaque appearance.
If the tooth does not have this appear ance, it should be re -etched for
another 30 sec.
6- Applying bond agent to improve retention (optional) .7- Sealant’s Application
When using a light -polymerization system, the sealant material is placed on
all susceptible pits and fissures and a few seconds are allowed for the material to
flow into the deep pits and fissures. The sealant is next cured with the light source
according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Generally this will be at
minimum a 10-second cure time for each surface that is being sealed
8-Occlusal adjustment and finishing.9-Recall :
Inform the patient or parent of the need for six -month recall appointments
to monitor sealant retention.
If the sealant has been lost or only partially retained, more sealant can be
added by repeating the steps in the application technique already
SEALANT FAILURE Contamination.
Inadequate surface preparation.
Incomplete or slow mixing of self -cure sealants affects polymerization.
Too slow application of the material results in a le ss viscous (thicker) mix
that cannot flow easily into the pits and fissures, causing an incomplete
Air entrapment due to whipping or vigorous mixing can occur during the
mixing of self -cured sealants.
Over -extension of the material beyond the conditi oned tooth surface.Incipient Caries
Studies have shown that sealants can be placed over incipient caries which arrests
the caries process.