Fissure sealant
 
 
 
 
 

children
 
 
 
 
 

Fissure sealant

  
 An increasingly popular treatment in dentistry is making it possible for kids to slip through childhood without a single cavity.

When parents ask their dentists what are the best ways to prevent their children from getting cavities, dentists often respond "SEALANTS!" These act as a barrier between bacteria (the cause of decay) and the enamel on your teeth. The treatment uses clear plastic fluids that dentists paint on the biting surfaces of permanent molars soon after the teeth come in. Sealants are safe, dry in seconds, and last up to five years.
Kids will still have to brush, floss and visit their dentists because the sealant won't reach between the teeth, where cavities often develop. But, sealants can cut molar cavities by more than 50 percent, and can be especially helpful in areas without fluoridated water.

The dental sealant is one of the most revolutionary materials available for protecting our children's teeth. For the past 18 years, a new generation of children have been enjoying the benefits of protective sealants.
Most of them know nothing of what a cavity is and how a tooth is treated when it has a cavity.

 

 

Below, is illustrated the steps involved with placing sealants and why and how they work. 

 


Before

A very normal first molar shows it's deep grooves
that can't help but to catch debris and build up stains.

 


During

The tooth is etched with some etching gel to open up the pores
of the enamel so that the sealant can adhere.

 


After

The sealant is placed and it is hardened with a curing light.
The biting surface of the tooth is now very well protected and the surface
is altered just enough so that food cannot become trapped on the surface now.
 

 

This is a magnified view of the surface of the tooth that clearly shows how deep and irregular the surace of the tooth actually is.

 

The grooves in our teeth are so deep, that in this magnified image of a single bristle from a toothbrush against the groove of a tooth, the bristle is far too large to clean the groove.

 

The etching gel opens up the pores of the enamel so that the sealant can flow into these pores and "grip" onto the tooth and protect the tooth. If you have any questions regarding sealants, please feel free to Ask Dr.Ali

 

The Benefits of Sealants

 

Sealants The first step in maintaining a healthy mouth is preventing tooth decay, and sealants can offer major protection against cavities. Your teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria, called plaque. When you don't clean your teeth after eating, plaque bacteria use sugar and starch in food as a source of energy. The bacteria convert the sugar or starch into harmful acids that attack tooth enamel for as long as twenty minutes or more. Repeated attacks may cause the enamel to break down, resulting in cavities.

How does a sealant help prevent decay?
A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids.

Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by "sealing out" plaque and food.

Is sealant application a complicated procedure?
Sealants are easy for your dentist to apply, and it takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. The teeth that will be sealed are cleaned. Then the chewing surfaces are roughened with an acid solution to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. The sealant is then 'painted' onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.

As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.

Sealants are just for kids, right?
The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But adults can benefit from sealants as well.

Key ingredients in preventing tooth decay and maintaining a healthy mouth are twice-daily brushing with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste; cleaning between the teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaners; eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks; and visiting your dentist regularly. Ask your dentist about whether sealants can put extra power behind your prevention program.

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