Fissure sealants are a preventive treatment to help reduce the risk of decay in molar teeth. A thin coating of dental material is painted onto the molar grooves which contain fissures and pits. A tooth fissure is a groove on the top surface of the molars whereas a pit is a small depression.
Adults typically have 12 molar teeth; six on the top and six on the bottom. The four wisdom teeth are included in this number. Molars are the wide teeth along the back of the jaw, used to chew and crush food. However, as their surface is not flat, food is easily trapped in these fissures and pits, which regular brushing struggles to clean completely, thus becoming common sites for cavities to form.
Why Choose Dental Fissure Sealants?
Fissures are crevices where food and bacteria commonly get trapped in. This can make it difficult to keep clean as toothbrush bristles may not fit into the fissures. Clean teeth diminish the chance of decay, which molars are prone to. Therefore, dental sealants are applied to chewing surfaces of molars to prevent this from happening.
The first permanent molar comes through around the age of six. Children at this age often do not have the ability to effectively clean these teeth due to their lack of know-how and developing dexterity. Sealants can make these grooves shallower which prevents build up occurring and creates an easier surface to clean.
The sealant also contains fluoride which will continuously be released onto the teeth, adding additional protection from bacterial attack as well as strengthening the teeth.
How Are Fissure Sealants Applied?
Teeth are prepared by firstly cleaning the deep fissure of any food or staining.Next, a cleansing gel is applied which is rinsed off. While keeping the tooth dry, the sealant material is then placed as a tooth coating into the fissures.
The Good Dentist provide two options for tooth fissure sealants:
- Composite Resin – this is mainly used to seal adult or permanent teeth. It is a moderately strong material that is painted on pink but turns white when set so it blends well with the tooth. It requires a completely dry environment when being placed, which is why it’s suited more to adults instead of children.
- Glass Ionomer Cement (GIC) – this is mainly used to seal baby teeth. It is a weaker material, although can last up to several years. It has higher amounts of fluoride which makes it a great choice in those with a high decay rate or risk. The pink material is tolerant of moisture and can get a little wet, making this an ideal choice for very young kids who find it difficult to keep their mouth open for long periods.
Once the material is placed, it is set with a blue light until hard. There is no drilling or cutting into the teeth whatsoever.
Aftercare For Fissure Sealants
There is no immediate aftercare for sealants. If a GIC was used, it is recommended to avoid sticky foods for the rest of the day. Fissure sealants often do not last long term and may fall out over time. They can be replaced if needed or requested.
For Good Dental Fissure Sealants
The Good Dentist is a full service family dental clinic with years of experience placing fissure seals. We are also Newcastle’s leading children’s dentist putting us in the perfect position to apply fissure seals on your child’s teeth.
This is a highly recommended process to stop tooth decay in children who are still mastering the art of brushing their teeth. It’s also great insurance for your teeth as you get older.
We look forward to being your entire family’s dentist by providing superior dental care while ensuring you smile the whole way through the treatment. You are most welcome to call 02 4929 6007, book online or email us at email@example.com