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This is a preventative treatment that is indicated in those patients that are diagnosed to have a higher susceptibility to dental decay. The treatment is often carried out by a Hygienist or Hygiene Therapist.
Commonly this treatment is carried out in children between the ages of 6 and 14. This is because these are the years when a child can be more susceptible to decay as continuously proven in multiple studies.
This treatment is also proving to be very useful for adults too.
What is a Fissure Sealant?
The treatment forms a thin, tooth coloured protective layer on the biting surfaces of a tooth. It is usually done on the larger molar teeth at the back of the mouth. The treatment forms a “seal” on the tooth preventing any attack from the bacteria in plaque.
This is a great prevention treatment for dental decay. Despite being thin it is extremely strong and can last a while.
Routine visits with the hygienists are important as they can look to see if you would benefit from these sealants. Also, if you have already had this treatment the hygienist can check to make sure that the seals are still present. Book a hygiene consultation.
This is because over time they may chip or wear away depending upon the specific biting and chewing patterns of the patient.
Fissure Sealant treatment is very easy to carry out and is completely painless. It is a great way of preventing the tooth from being damaged and getting fillings in the future. Read more on our hygiene treatments.
Understanding the Decay Process
When bacteria infects a tooth, they start by invading and breaking down the enamel and thereafter the dentine. Sometimes this deterioration is not visible to the naked eye and can only be seen on radiographs (X-Rays).
Once it is allowed to fester with no preventative measures the bacteria can cause a “hole” to develop in the tooth.
This hole or cavity will only get larger and the infection more progressive if nothing is done about it.
The treatment for such a cavity is a filling to restore the tooth structure back to its original whole tooth form and shape. The type of restoration required is often dependent upon the extent of damage caused by the bacteria and how long the infection has been there for. Repair my teeth.
Hence, in order to prevent any type of cavity from developing in the first place, a Fissure Sealant is used to literally seal off the tooth enamel to any bacterial invasion.
The Fissure Sealant Procedure involves the following steps:
- Thorough Dental Clean. The tooth is cleaned on all surfaces.
- Isolation. The tooth is then isolated to prevent any contamination of saliva and to provide a good vision of the treatment area. This is often done using either cotton wool rolls or preferably a rubber dam.
- Etching. This involves the application of an acidic agent (such as 30% to 40% phosphoric acid gel) that creates micro-pores in the enamel. It establishes a base for mechanical retention of the sealant. This is then rinsed off and the tooth dried thoroughly. It is important at this stage that there is no contamination with saliva at all, otherwise, the process will have to be repeated.
- Bonding. This involves the application of the Bonding Agent. There are various types available. So, the dentist will follow the manufacturer of choice instructions very closely.
- Apply Sealant. The sealant usually comes in a liquid form. It is painted onto the tooth’s prepared surface. The low viscosity property of the sealant allows it to get into every groove and fissure in the tooth.
- Light Curing. The sealant is then set hard using a special light. It usually takes only 20-30 seconds of concentrated blue light. We call this process “light curing” the sealant. It causes the flowable photosensitive sealant to set hard. When setting hard the fissure sealant provides an impenetrable seal.
- Bite Check. The tooth is then checked for comfort and correct bite. In some cases, a little smoothing may be required. The hygienist will use a custom drill for this part, but it is very quick and there is no discomfort involved at all.
- Post-Treatment. The patient is able to eat and chew comfortably without any hindrance from the sealant. There should be no sensitivity or any pain at all. It is advised that the patient attends regular visits with the hygiene therapist to monitor this treatment.
The Perfect Smile believes in creating a strong, orally healthy foundation. Our preventive dental treatments are here to make sure your mouth, gums and teeth remain healthy, strong and look fantastic.
For more information on our fissure sealant procedure or for any other questions you may for us, contact our Hertford dental clinic on 01992 552115 or contact us here. We also have consultation rooms in London too.