WHAT IS THE ROLE OF SEALANTS IN THE PREVENTION OF TOOTH DECAY?

Traditional prevention procedures (brushing, use of dental floss and fluorides) act on the smooth surface of the teeth. Sealants are an added measure to the traditional ones, acting on teeth that have pits and fissures, usually the first molars (erupting around the age of 6) and second permanent molars (around the age of 12).

 

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY FITS AND FISSURES?

Pits and fissures are deep grooves, crevices or natural cavities that are found mainly on the chewing surfaces of permanent molars. The toothbrush is insufficient to remove bacteria and food debris lodged in there. According to studies, fluoride is also ineffective in this case. This is the reason a large number of dental caries is due to pits and fissures.

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WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF A SEALANT?

Sealants close pits and fissures. It thus facilitates brushing, and protects the teeth, making the masticatory surface uniform and smooth.

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HOW TO APPLY SEALANTS?

The application of the sealant is performed by the dental hygienist without local anaesthesia. The surface of the teeth involved is first cleaned with pumice. Sometimes deeper grooves must be slightly opened with a small burr, still without local anaesthesia (enameloplasty).

A liquid or a gel, as appropriate, is applied to the teeth and in the pits and fissures to create micro-pores (surface roughness).  The sealant (opaque white plastic liquid) is then deposited to infiltrate the pores of the pits and fissures. Finally, the sealant is hardened in place with the aid of a special light. The tooth surface becomes plasticized and smooth, so that bacteria and the food debris cannot get wedged in.

 

WHO CAN RECEIVE THIS TREATMENT?

In most cases, children 6 to 15 years old with good dental hygiene, can benefit from this treatment, provided that the affected teeth are not decayed, and adults of all ages whose molars are not already decayed or filled.

 

SEALANTS USED AT PRISMA DENTISTS ARE FREE OF BISPHENOL A.

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