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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
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Minerva Stomatologica 2011 October;60(10):529-41

language: English, Italian

Pit and fissure sealants: review of literature and application technique

Bromo F. 1, Guida A. 2, Santoro G. 3, Peciarolo M. R. 4, Eramo S. 5

1 University of Bologna “Alma Mater Studiorum”, Bologna, Italy;
2 Italian Society of Esthetic Dentistry, Rome, Italy;
3 Department of Material Science, University of Limerick;
4 Dentist, Private practitioner;
5 University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy


Molars and premolars are the most vulnerable teeth to caries attack. The high susceptibility of these teeth to caries is directly related to morphology of their occlusal surface that prevents both chemical cleaning by saliva and mechanical cleaning by toothbrush. Pit and fissures are therefore the most prone areas to caries and need special protection to prevent carious lesions. Fluoride is the only chemical element used for caries prevention. In fact, it favors the remineralisation of initial lesions, prevents the production of polysaccharides essential for the development and sustainment of bacterial plaque, and the absorption of salivary glycoprotein. Fluoride also reinforces enamel, making it less susceptible to caries. Two methods of fluoroprophylaxis have been proposed: the first is the systemic fluoroprophylaxis which is particularly efficient in preventing interproximal caries, but it does not form an adequate protective barrier on the occlusal surfaces; the other is the topical application of a fluoride gel to the tooth surface, although this second method does not significantly reduce the incidence of caries. The efficacy of the sealing procedures depends on the correct application technique. Observing an operative protocol will ensure a longer lasting retention of the sealant on the occlusal surface and subsequently prolongs the protection against caries.

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