Dental fissure sealants can protect your teeth if they are prone to decay.
What are dental fissures?
Dental fissures are the narrow pits and grooves that naturally occur on the chewing surfaces of your teeth, especially on the back teeth. These fissures are very narrow and can extend, microscopically, down into the tooth.
Even if you brush or floss habitually, the bristles of your toothbrush or your dental floss are too thick to be able to clean these minute crevices. As a result, these dental fissures are prone to colonisation with bacteria and eventual development of tooth decay. As a matter of fact, teeth with deep dental fissures are more likely to develop dental caries. Much of the problems associated with decay forming in these fissures are related to our refined and processed modern diet.
What are dental fissure sealants?
Dental fissure sealants are one of the most effective dental procedures that can prevent tooth decay. These protective coatings are actually hard dental resin, which is carefully applied to the grooves and pits of your teeth. Dental fissure sealants make your teeth a lot smoother and more importantly, provide a strong and durable barrier that prevents food and bacteria from getting trapped in your dental fissures.
Belle Dental strongly suggests dental fissure sealants for your children’s teeth as soon as the first adult back teeth erupt by age six. We even recommend fissure seals for some adult teeth that have deep grooves and are at risk of developing decay.
Why are dental fissure sealants necessary?
With the initial introduction of fluoride into the water system, dentistry saw a significant reduction in the rate of dental decay on the smooth surfaces of teeth. However, there was not the same reduction in the rate of decay on the biting surfaces that had deep grooves, which indicated that individuals with these groves still had a greater risk of decay that could not be improved by fluoride treatment. This increased risk has continued until this very day – in fact, with the advent of a more refined diet, the risk of dental decay associated with the grooves on the biting surfaces of the teeth has increased.
Our modern diet and dentists neglecting to use fissure sealants are why tooth decay is still quite a prevalent dental problem in the young. Young children have a preference for sweet foods and are less disciplined around their home care/tooth brushing. Small areas of tooth decay can rapidly develop into larger areas of decay – even tooth loss if left untreated.
Dental fissure sealants, in combination with effective home care, significantly reduce the possibility of developing tooth decay. They have been shown to be an effective preventive dental treatment for your children’s teeth – providing protection well into adulthood. They are an excellent, cost effective preventive treatment for your children’s teeth.
Fissure sealants and Low Biological Cost Dentistry
Fissure sealants are one of the ways which we practice Low Biological Cost Dentistry, which is designed to reduce the need to remove existing tooth structure. By using fissure sealants early on in life, you are giving yourself the best chance of maintaining your teeth well into old age. Read more about this here.