Tooth decay has been on the rise amongst Australian children and alarmingly one in four children aged 5-10 have tooth decay that is not being treated. Decay is most often found on the biting surfaces of molar teeth (back teeth) where fissures (grooves) can be quite deep and food/plaque gets trapped into these grooves. These fissures can be difficult for children to clean effectively as they don’t have the manual dexterity to brush well until they are 7 or 8.
But there is good news! – Sealing the fissures of developing adult molar teeth can greatly reduce the risk of tooth decay. This preventative dental treatment can make it much easier to keep teeth clean and therefore decay-free with regular teeth brushing and its benefits have been well documented for many years.
What happens during a dental fissure sealant procedure?
Dental sealant treatment is quick and painless and it requires no local anaesthetic.
The dentist will:
- Clean and dry the tooth
- Prepare the tooth surface so that the sealant bonds well
- Apply a thin liquid coating (white coloured resin) into the deep grooves
- Set the sealant hard with the curing light
- Check the bite and polish off any excess sealant material
When do you need a fissure sealant?
Your dentist may mention it to you and advise that your child is best to have fissure sealants placed if they have large grooves in their teeth or if there is already some tooth decay present. Not all teeth with fissures necessarily need sealants.
How long will it last?
Fissure sealants will last for years to come and children will find their teeth much easier to clean.
It is possible for a sealant to come off—we’ll always check if a sealant is in good condition as part of the regular check-up appointment and correct it if it needs to be reapplied.
Schedule Your Child’s Visit
If your child is due for their 6 monthly check-ups, book an appointment today with one of our friendly dentists at Whites Dental Care. We look forward to seeing you at the practice soon to ensure your child’s oral health is on track for success.