PIT & FISSURE
Pits and fissures are actually naturally occurring enamel faults/ narrow shafts of some length on occlusal/top surface of teeth whose blind ends are directed inwards.
Caries/tooth decay potential is directly related to the shape and depth of pit and fissures dues to:
- Morphology of fissures
- Niche for microorganism
- Inaccessible ( brush & saliva)
- Thickness of enamel
- Less effectiveness of fluoride
- Salivary pellicle (newly erupted teeth)
- More porous enamel (newly erupted teeth)
In order to prevent tooth decay on these surfaces, Sealants were developed in the 1970s and 1980s. Pit and fissure sealing plays a fundamental role in preventing occlusal caries. Cariostatic properties of sealants are actually by physical obstruction of pits and fissures. It is defined as:
“An adhesive material that is applied to pits and fissures of n teeth in order to isolate from the rest of the oral cavity.”
Following are Age ranges of sealant application:
Application of Sealant :
Thus, majority of all tooth decay that occurs in the mouth occur on the occlusal surfaces. Which teeth will become carious cannot be predicted; however, if the surface is sealed with a pit-and-fissure sealant, no caries will develop as long as the sealant remains in place. Recent studies indicate an approximate 90% retention rate of sealants 1-year after placement. Even when sealants are eventually lost, most studies indicate that the caries incidence for teeth that have lost sealants is less than that of control surfaces that had never been sealed. Hence , Pit and Fissure Sealants are highly recommended.