A fissure sealant is a tooth coloured varnish that is applied to Adult and children's molars to reduce the risk of developing decay on those teeth. They can also be applied to areas in the mouth which show signs of early decay, this will then help to avoid larger fillings in the future.
The biting surfaces of molars have many grooves and pits and they are difficult to keep clean and therefore are prone to develop decay. The application of this varnish makes the tooth surface smoother, hence easier to clean, and also reduces the likelihood of bacteria sticking on the tooth.
At the check-up visit, Dr. Ahmed will go through your medical history, check the health of your soft tissues, your teeth, and gums and carry out oral cancer screening. She will determine whether you or your children will benefit from this treatment.
The back teeth are usually treated, especially the molars. These teeth have more pits and grooves for plaque to build up in. The possibility and need for this treatment vary per person, as the shape of teeth differs so much per tooth. Pit and fissure sealants are the most common types of sealants, lining the teeth with deeper 'pits' to ensure that the tooth will not develop cavities as a result of settling bacteria.
The tooth that is to be treated will be cleaned and rinsed properly before any treatment starts. To ensure dental sealant safety, the tooth has to be clean or the plastic film that is to be painted on will not hold. The tooth will be dried thoroughly after washing it. A special solution is applied to the tooth, to make the tooth surface rough, after which the liquid plastic, making up the sealant, is applied to the tooth. After a short hardening time, the sealant is fixed.
With no etch dental sealants, the treatment with a solution to 'etch' the tooth (ie make the tooth surface rough) is left out. Due to a special drying technique of the tooth after cleaning it, the sealant can be applied directly after the cleaning procedure.
Dental sealants can last for up to ten years and will be checked at regular intervals. Sometimes sealants will need extra adding of plastic if the layer on the tooth has worn down. If a sealant is chipped or comes off the sealant can easily be replaced or repaired by adding more plastic to the sealant or bare tooth. People or children who have sealants fixed to their teeth should try not to eat hard or sticky candy, and avoid chewing on ice cubes.
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