Fissure sealants are an effective way to help prevent tooth decay in the back teeth of children and adults. They are made of a ‘plastic’ colourless or tooth-coloured protective liquid, which is painted into the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. They are then hardened with the application of a concentrated beam of ultraviolet or similar filtered light. They are remain in place for many years. There is also a pink or white version which can cover the tooth when there is a lack of mineralization of the surface enamel. Your dentist will determine which type of sealant is best for your case.
Fissure sealants have been used in dentistry for many decades and many research studies have shown that they provide a very cost effective means of preventing tooth decay. They are usually placed in the adult molar and premolar teeth in people of any age, particularly if there is an increased risk of tooth decay. The first molar teeth come through at about six years of age and can be fissure sealed soon thereafter. The second molar teeth present at twelve years of age and are subsequently fissure sealed. Other teeth with grooves can also be fissure sealed, especially in cases where tooth decay is likely to occur rapidly.
Often, at a child’s first check-up, one or more of the adult molar teeth will already have a small amount of decay or staining in the groove indicating that decay may occur in the future. We now have the technology to use painless and drill-free techniques such as special pastes or air-cleaning devices to disinfect and remove this staining or small decay and then fissure seal the tooth. This prevents the tooth from developing a ‘full blown’ cavity and thus, needing more unpleasant treatment such as a filling, at a later date.
If you’re looking for a family dentist Preston or close-by, for fissure sealing, our dentists and therapists at Coburg Dental Group can help you.
If you are eligible for treatment under the Commonwealth government funded Child Dental Benefits Scheme you may be able to claim for this treatment under Medicare with no out-of-pocket expense. Our patients usually receive a letter from Medicare to confirm their eligibility but if you’re sure of your eligibility status, our staff can help you. This scheme is means tested so the patient needs to be aged 2-17 years of age and the family receive Family Benefits Part A from Services Australia or some other government payments.
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