If you're like most parents, you worry about the state of your children's teeth and educate your children on how to care for their own teeth and general oral health. Luckily, modern dentistry has ways of helping you in this endeavour to keep your children's teeth healthy; one such procedure to help protect children's teeth from dental caries and general wear is through the application of dental fissure sealants.
What are dental fissure sealants?
Dental fissure sealants are protective barriers that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth in order to seal out the bacteria and food particles that can lead to cavities and tooth decay, and they are effective as long as their coating remains intact. These sealants are invisible and non-toxic and are generally made out of one of three materials. The first of these is plastic resin, which is the cheapest option but, if not applied properly, this option is the most likely to be vulnerable to bacterial breakdown. Also, some sealants made from resin contain a controversial polymer called BPA.
The second option is glass ionomer. These coatings are excellent at preventing tooth decay, more so than resin coatings, as they contain fluoride. However, they tend to last for a shorter amount of time than resin coatings.
And finally there are hybrid coatings, which are a mix of resin and glass ionomer. There are several different types of hybrid coatings, each with their own individual set of properties, so it's worth asking your family dentist which he or she recommends if you choose to go down that route.
How are they applied?
Applying fissure sealants is not a tricky procedure and will not cause your child any pain, nor is there need for any injections or drilling. Firstly, the dentist gives the teeth that are to worked on a good clean, then prepares the teeth with a weak acid or conditioning agent so that the sealants bond well to them. Then, the sealant is applied to the teeth in liquid form. A UV light is then generally used to set the material and make it harden. Once that is done, the dentist checks to see if any of the teeth need to be smoothed. And that's it! Your child can eat and drink as normal after the procedure.
Fissure sealants can last a few years, but the exact length will depend on the material used, how good your child's general dental hygiene is and how much wear and tear the sealed teeth undergo.Share
29 July 2016
Miranda Raff here. My brother is a stressed-out dental student, so I'm starting this blog on his behalf. I work in a travel agency and my brother is mortified by the number of dental tourism stories I bring home. I book short holidays for people who seem as though they are going to enjoy some relaxation in an exotic country, only to learn that they plan to have cheap dental procedures. Whilst there are good dentists in developing countries, according to my brother, the complex procedures these people plan to have simply can't be finished in such a limited time. This blog is an attempt to inform you about the high skill levels and advanced technology found in Australian dental surgeries. New techniques are being developed every year and Australian dentists are at the forefront of offering these solutions. I really hope this blog helps you to appreciate our dentists.