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PIT FISSURE SEALANTS
From $47 per tooth
Pits and fissures in the back teeth are so deep that it’s impossible for the bristles of a toothbrush to keep the surface clean and can make it a breeding ground for bacteria which can result in decay.
The process is usually quick and straightforward, taking only a few minutes for each tooth and no anaesthetic required.
The pit fissure sealants help protect the deep grooves of your molar teeth from bacteria and plaque. Your dentist will assess your wisdom teeth. When the grooves are very deep or stained, your dentist may recommend sealants. This is a safe way of protecting the grooves of your teeth and minimise the depth of the groove, so that plaque and bacteria do not get stuck into the tiny depths of the groove and cause decay.
Which Teeth should be sealed?
Teeth which have deep grooves are often difficult, or at times impossible to keep clean solely through routine brushing. Often time these deep grooves harbor bacteria which decay the tooth. Sealants are used to prevent these grooves from bacterial destruction. Sealants are only applied to the back teeth – the molars and premolars. These are the teeth that have ‘pits’ (small hollows) and ‘fissures’ (grooves) on their biting surfaces. Your dental team will tell you which teeth should be sealed after they have examined them, and checked whether the fissures are deep enough for sealing to help. Some teeth naturally have deep grooves which will need to be sealed; others have shallow ones which will not need sealing.
What is involved?
The process is usually quick and straightforward, taking only a few minutes for each tooth. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution, and dried. The liquid sealant is then applied and allowed to set hard – usually by shining a bright light onto it
The tooth surface is cleaned, conditioned and dried
Sealant is dropped onto the tooth surface and flows into position
Sealant sticks to the tooth and is hardened under a blue light
The tooth is sealed giving full protection
How do pit and fissure sealant works?
The sealant forms a smooth, protective barrier by covering all the little grooves and dips in the surface of the tooth. Dental decay easily starts in these grooves if they are not sealed.
When should this be done?
Sealants are often applied as soon as the first permanent teeth start to come through. This is usually between 6 and 7 years of age. The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear which can be any time between 11 and 14 years of age.
Do you still need to clean your teeth?
It is still very important to clean your teeth. The smooth, sealed surface is now much easier to keep clean and healthy with normal brushing. Using a fluoride toothpaste, last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, will help to protect your teeth. Pit and fissure sealing reduces tooth decay and the number of fillings you might need.
If you would like to know more about the treatment, ask your dentist. They will tell you if fissure sealing will help your teeth, and if it is the right time to do it.
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