It is not a widely known fact that early dental decay can be prevented by using a special material called a dental sealant.
Using a sealant the dentist is able to safely and painlessly increase the chances for the tooth not to be affected by decay. A hard coating with a plastic-like consistency is applied to the back teeth on the biting surfaces. The purpose of it is to be a barrier against bacteria that can get in the grooves of the teeth and start causing damage.
The dental sealants are exclusively meant to protect the molars and premolars – the back teeth as these have the uneven surfaces at the top – the so called fissures and pits. The advice to have the treatment comes only from the dental health provider after they thoroughly examine the teeth and if they consider that a sealant would help prevent dental decay. The grooves and pits on the top of the molars and premolars depend from person to person and that’s why only certain teeth may need to be sealed.
The application is fairly simple and fast and should only take a few minutes for each tooth. It consists of a good clean of the surface of the tooth followed by an application of a special solution after which the area should be thoroughly dried. The next step is to spread the fissure sealant on the tooth and wait for it to set hard. A bright light is normally used to aid the drying process.
The way these sealants work is by providing a protective layer that covers the pits and grooves of the teeth and helps preventing the formation of decay that very often starts in these areas.
The treatments should normally last for several years but in order to make sure everything is in order regular oral health assessments should be carried out as per your dentist’s advice. Nothing is unbreakable, even the sealants can suffer wear and tear so that’s why you should have them checked to ensure they are intact. Sometimes you might need to have new ones applied or replace some of them in order to avoid any decay from forming under the actual sealant.
The fissure sealants can be used by the dentist as soon as the permanent teeth come through and depending on the case further applications can be made into adulthood.
But parents and children alike should still make sure the normal oral health routine is kept as usual. The sealants make it easier for the teeth to be cleaned as they smooth the upper surface of the teeth but the use of a fluoride tooth paste in combination with flossing every day and a healthy, low sugar diet is the success of healthy teeth.
If you require more information you can always ask our fantastic dentists about this treatment and they will advise if your child is suitable for it.
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