Pediatric Dentist in Westfield IN
What is Fissure Sealant?
Fissure sealant is a hard plastic coating that is applied to the fissure found on the surface of the teeth. Also known as grooves, these cracks have varied depth and others are too narrow or too deep that regular brushing cannot clean. The sealant protects the groove by keeping plaque from sticking and causing damage and decay. It is recommended that all permanent molars are set with sealant from childhood.
Importance of Fissure Sealants
Tooth decay is the most common disease of the teeth among humans. Some of the reasons behind this are Diet and Habit. Compared to million years ago, when tooth decay wasn’t the problem as it is now, the diet of most humans includes carbs, sugar and starch. While this is good to satisfy our cravings, it’s not necessarily good for our oral health. The average human mouth has around 20 billion oral microbes. These microbes cause a reaction when with the food that we eat, especially those with sugar or starch, turning them into acid. This acid combines with our saliva, small food pieces, and the bacteria present in our mouth, creating plaque. When plaque isn't removed, the acid it contains enable decay to form, and it weakens the hard shell of the tooth. Once the enamel is damaged, it is easier for the bacteria to spread within the tooth. Once the tooth is severely damaged, it may be impossible to repair which can cause severe pain or more serious dental complications.
Fissure Sealant Application Procedure
The application of the fissure sealant requires very little effort and time. It usually takes only a few minutes to finish a tooth. Here are few pointers about the application procedure:
· The tooth is cleaned thoroughly. It is important to note that the tooth should be dry before the application of the sealant because moisture enables the bacteria to grow in number. If bacteria are present once the sealant has hardened, the bacteria may damage the tooth from the inside.
· Sealant is applied and allowed to dry under a dental curing light. This instrument emits a blue light which increases the speed of the drying process. It is important that the sealant dries completely before the mouth is closed or is allowed to accumulate saliva to ensure that the seal will not be damaged.
The sealant is a hardened shell, but it also wears over time. Make sure you don’t use your teeth to bite very hard materials, clean your teeth at least twice a day, and visit the dentist regularly. Regular check-ups are needed to ensure that the seal is still intact and that no decay has started to form underneath it.