How Fissure Sealant Can Protect Your Teeth from Cavities and Decay
Tooth decay remains widespread across Australia, impacting people of all ages. The good news is that this dental disease can be primarily prevented by practising good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. One of the best protective measures against tooth decay is applying fissure sealants offered by dentists in Maroubra.
What Is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay, also known as caries, occurs when acids produced by plaque bacteria wear away the protective enamel coat of the teeth, resulting in holes or pits called dental cavities. The decay process can occur slowly, eventually causing toothache and tooth loss if left untreated.
The most susceptible areas for decay are the biting surfaces and grooves of back teeth. These grooves tend to trap food particles and plaque, making them difficult to clean. The trapped debris feeds the bacteria, which release acids, leading to what’s termed “pit and fissure decay”.
How Do Fissure Sealants Prevent Decay?
Fissure sealants provide a protective coating over the vulnerable grooves on teeth. This creates a smooth surface that is easy to clean and seals out food and plaque, preventing up to 80% of cavities from developing.
The sealants are quick and painless to apply. Your Maroubra dentist will clean and dry the tooth surface before etching it with an acid gel. This roughens the enamel so the sealant can adhere tightly. The sealant is then painted onto the grooves as a liquid resin that hardens rapidly under a curing light.
Studies show the resin sealants remain intact for up to 10 years on average. Thus, getting fissure sealants is a safe and effective way to protect your teeth from tooth decay treatment long term.
When Should You Get Fissure Sealants?
Our experienced team at Dental Avenue Maroubra recommends getting sealants applied shortly after the adult molars emerge, around ages 6 to 14. This helps protect the teeth during their most vulnerable years, but your dentist in Maroubra may also recommend sealants for adults at high risk for cavities and decay.
Fissure sealants are an excellent cavity-prevention measure. The procedure to administer the sealants is painless and minimally invasive, requiring no drilling or anaesthesia and can be applied quickly and easily during a routine dental visit. Furthermore, they strengthen and reinforce the enamel coat and protect your teeth with little disruption to your daily routine.
Are Fissure Sealants Suitable for Everyone?
Fissure sealants are safe and effective for most people. Good candidates for sealants are those with deep grooves in their molars that are hard to clean. However, the sealant material does not adhere well to all surfaces. Thus, your dentist in Maroubra will check if your molars have deep pits and grooves, no signs of decay, no previous restorations, adequately erupted from the gums, and moist, clean surfaces for etching. Proper placement and longevity of the sealants also depend on the underlying tooth structure and condition. Based on these factors, your dentist will assess if your specific molars are suitable candidates for fissure sealants and may also advise on dietary changes to counter tooth decay.
Signs You May Need Your Fissure Sealants Reapplied
Over time, sealants can wear down or chip off entirely. Hence, you should be on the lookout for the following signs and contact your Maroubra dentist promptly for reapplication:
- Visible gaps, fractures or edges lifting off
- Discolouration under the sealant
- Tooth sensitivity or pain from hot/cold stimuli
- Changes in your bite
- Food catching in newly formed crevices
Monitoring for any of these warning signs and reapplying sealants to replace worn patches or gaps can restore the protective barrier. Getting timely reapplication from your dentist will restore the protective barrier and ensure your sealants continue preventing decay. Your dentist in Maroubra will also check for underlying decay if you’ve had sealants for many years.
Alternative Treatments for Tooth Decay at your Dentist in Maroubra
While fissure sealants are an effective preventive measure, you may still require tooth decay treatment at some point. At Dental Avenue Maroubra, we offer the following:
Fillings involve removing decay and replacing the space with metal, porcelain, resin, or other tooth-coloured materials.
If the decay is too extensive for a filling, an artificial crown is moulded to fit over the remaining tooth structure.
Root Canal Therapy
Severely decayed teeth may require root canal treatment to remove infected pulp and save the tooth.
Extraction and dental implants may be recommended in cases of advanced decay destroying large portions of the tooth.
Talk to your dentist in Maroubra to determine the most suitable tooth decay treatment based on your oral health.
Protect Your Smile with Fissure Sealants
Fissure sealants offer a quick, non-invasive way to protect vulnerable teeth from harmful plaque acids. If you have children getting their adult teeth or have grooves and pits on your own molars, consider getting fissure sealants. They’re most effective when placed early on the second permanent molars. This minimally invasive procedure can pay off tremendously in avoiding expensive dental work down the road.
To find out if you’re a good candidate for sealants, book a check-up with Dental Avenue Maroubra. Our experienced team provides quality preventive and restorative dental care to protect your oral health. Make a booking request online or call 02 9344 8822 to schedule an appointment. Invest in your smile today and schedule a pain-free fissure sealing session for peace of mind.