Fissure Sealants in Essendon
In the 1960s, Australia started to get widespread fluoridated water. At the same time, our toothpaste also came with extra fluoride. Because of these two events, fewer and fewer Australians now live with tooth decay.
In fact, some patients come to our Essendon dental clinic who have had exposure to fluoride in high concentrations. This means that, while their dental enamel is stronger because of fluoride in the water and toothpaste, it is too strong to show signs of dental decay. Dentists call this a ‘fluoride bomb’, allowing for ongoing decay of the dentine and pulp of the tooth.
Microscopic pits and fissures are all over the enamel surface of teeth. Because of the modern exposure of more fluoride, the enamel is often extra-strong. The heightened strength of this enamel means it’s much harder to be broken down by decay. However, the decay will still enter the softer underlying dentine tissue through tiny microscopic cracks in the enamel. When the fluoride bomb makes it harder to detect decay, the microbes causing the decay grow slowly over the years, nearly destroying the tooth. The ongoing development of dental decay moves from the dentine to the inner tooth pulp.
To avoid situations like this occurring, our experienced and gentle dentists use fissure sealants to protect these grooves, pits or fissures from decay. Sometimes known as dental pit and fissure sealants, we use them more frequently on younger teeth, which are newly-developed and more susceptible to decay.
Fissure sealants – what are they?
If you know what nail polish looks like, you’ll know what a fissure sealant looks like. Fissure sealant is a tooth-coloured liquid of a gooey consistency. The consistency allows it to flow into the back teeth and fill the microscopic grooves that can let in the microorganisms that cause teeth decay. Therefore, using fissure sealants is an excellent way to reduce tooth decay in children as they help protect teeth during their growing years.
After a few minutes, the sealant hardens, making the tooth not only smoother but easier to clean. To further protect the tooth, the sealant also contains added fluoride. Our Essendon dental team uses tooth-coloured sealants made from either a composite or glass ionomer-based resin.
How we apply fissure sealants
At our Essendon clinic, either a dentist or a dental hygienist will apply the dental fissure sealant to your child’s teeth. These highly skilled and experienced dental professionals apply the sealant to your child’s teeth. The pain-free procedure takes about five minutes per tooth to complete.
Lifespan for fissure sealants
When combined with a solid at-home teeth cleaning and flossing routine, you can expect fissure sealants to last for at least five years as a reliable tooth decay treatment. Having regularly scheduled dental check-ups will also help to maximise the lifespan of the sealants.
Ideal age for fissure sealant treatment
Our experienced and caring Essendon dentists and hygienists have worked with children for many years to maximise oral health. As a result, we recommend children should receive fissure sealant treatment once their first permanent molars have erupted. For most children, this is around the age of six.
As fissure sealant treatment lasts for around five years, we recommend a subsequent procedure to occur once your child’s permanent adult premolars appear. This usually occurs between the age of 11 to 14.
There may be some instances where our dental team may recommend fissure sealant treatment on primary (baby) molars. If we see an indication of the early development of tooth decay, we will advise you promptly so you can decide on further treatment.
Maintaining fissure sealant progress
We recommend your child has a dental check-up every six months so that we can efficiently monitor their sealed teeth. Our experienced Essendon dental team members will also examine other teeth for signs of tooth decay and undertake a gum health check.
Fissure sealants for adults
We primarily undertake fissure sealant treatment on young patients. However, we do treat adults as well. Adults often choose fissure sealant options as an extra aid in preventing tooth decay. As we can’t apply sealants to teeth with detectable evidence of tooth decay, having regularly scheduled dental hygiene appointments is essential for any adult choosing to have fissure sealant treatments.
Fissure sealant costs
Each child or adult coming to our Essendon dental clinic for fissure sealant treatment will have a different presentation. Therefore there is no ‘one-size fits-all’ cost for this procedure. We recommend an initial assessment so you can receive an accurate quote. Patients with private health cover can have some of the expenses covered by their private health funds.
Patients (or their parents) can also speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable reception team members to develop a payment plan to help cover the cost of treatment if needed.