Protecting children's teeth from an early age in Wickham near Fareham
For many years, the dental profession has been looking for ways to improve the protection against decay of our patient's teeth. Naturally, encouraging good oral health care is a large part of this but there are additional approaches which can help; one of the most effective of these is the use of fissure dental sealants. These work, quite simply, by filling in the small nooks and crannies in a tooth where food and potentially bacteria can become lodged causing tooth decay to occur.
The sealant is usually applied to the grooves in the first rear teeth of a patient once they have appeared in the mouth. This usually occurs somewhere about 6 years of age. The second molars which come through at around the age of twelve are then also sealed using this method. Whilst it is usually the back teeth which have this treatment, it can also be applied to other teeth if they are felt to be at risk from decay. The sealant itself is a transparent liquid which is painted onto the teeth and then hardened using an ultraviolet light. Once the sealant has been hardened, it should last for many years to come and offer a level of extra protection against tooth decay.
Whilst this sealant is ideally applied on a new tooth, it has proved possible to also use it on a partially decayed tooth provided that the amount of decay is very small. Using drill free techniques such as air abrasion, the decay can be removed painlessly to remove the decay, and the tooth then sealed using the fissure sealant. This technique helps to ensure that the the small amount of decay does not become larger and cause the necessity to have a larger filling done at a later date.
Whilst this is an effective sealant that prevents decay, it is important to keep up your dental appointments to ensure that the sealant has remained intact otherwise decay may still occur.