The first permanent molar teeth begin to erupt usually about 6 years old. These teeth erupt behind the existing baby teeth and often are unnoticed by parents. These are frequently extracted in adults as a result of childhood decay.
Fissure sealants significantly decrease the chances of these teeth decaying. The world health organisation recommends that these teeth should be fissure sealed within 6 months of eruption. Unfortunately, due to pressure on the hospital dental scheme, many children don’t get offered the opportunity to get these done by the HSE at an appropriate age and may be seen too late in which case the teeth many have decayed and require fillings or may not be seen at all.
Fissure sealants are coatings which make the teeth easier to clean and they release fluoride onto the tooth which helps strengthen them long term. They are simple to put on and don’t involve any drilling or needles so most children find them an easy procedure.