Preventative dentistry and fissure sealants

The first two years after eruption are the most critical to prevent decay, and our experience at Pymble Dental Practice has found that by using premium 3M adhesive materials has meant close to 100% reduction in decay after 2 years.

Preventative dentistry

Preventative dentistry allows our dentists at Pymble Dental Practice to be the least invasive. Despite advances in dentistry meaning improvements in materials, no filling lasts forever. When a filling is put in a tooth as a teenager, that tooth might have the filling replaced 2-3 times in a lifetime. Every time they are replaced they get bigger, and a simple filling at age 10 can translate into a crown at age 50. Not only is this costly, but it places a lot of stress and anxiety into a patient’s relationship with the dental profession.

Preventive dentistry comprises of:

  • Regular check-ups and cleans

  • Digital Radiography analysis

  • Oral hygiene training

  • At home medications

  • Dietary advice

  • Fluoride treatments

  • Fissure sealants

  • Orthodontic interceptive treatments

This electron microscope photograph shows that there is a groove too narrow for a toothbrush bristle to penetrate and mechanically remove bacteria; hence the need for additional preventative measures.

Fissure Sealants

Fissure sealants are protective coatings bonded to the deep grooves of newly erupted adult teeth to prevent them from decaying. In adult molars, the grooves on the chewing surface of the teeth are too deep for toothbrush bristles to reach. Food particles and sugars can be trapped in the deepest parts of the groove and provide the fuel for acid producing bacteria to create holes. The adult first molars are the most commonly filled teeth due to decay!

In the mid-1960s, Drs. Michael Buonocore and E. I. Cueto introduced the first commercial sealant. The dental sealant has been stated as one of the most significant advances in modern dentistry. This simple, yet innovative, idea acts as a barrier preventing acid and bacteria from resting in pit and fissures destroying enamel.

The chewing surfaces of the teeth are cleaned, then prepared for resin to be flowed into the fissures (deep grooves). The resin is set by a special light which means the procedure only takes a matter of minutes per tooth. They are usually made from tooth coloured resin.

Sealants last many years, but may chip or wear over time and need to be replaced. We will check on your sealants at each regular visit to ensure they are doing their job!

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