Protective layers that protect baby and permanent molars from cavities
All teeth with deep fissures on the chewing surface share a unique susceptibility to cavities. Food remnants frequently lodge themselves in these fissures, which allows bacteria to rapidly multiply and adhere to the teeth, where they promote the production of a particularly aggressive acids.
For this reason, we often prescribe fissure sealants which will ensure that the back teeth are protected for many years against cavities.
Protecting The Molars From Cavities
Fissure sealants are protective, anti-cavity films applied to the chewing surface of baby and permanent molars to fill deep fissures.
Fissure sealants reduce the risk of cavities by over 80% in comparison to unsealed teeth.
Why focus on molar protection?
80% of cavities start in the deep fissures located on the chewing surfaces of teeth!
Food remnants lodge themselves within these fissures and, as toothbrush bristles are too thick to get in there to remove them, bacteria multiply inside and start to attack the tooth enamel.
Baby molars are at high risk for cavities!
Baby tooth enamel is less mineralized than that of permanent teeth- that’s why they’re more vulnerable to cavities.
And even though baby teeth eventually fall out, cavities are contagious! They can spread to growing permanent teeth and others already in the mouth.
What are fissure sealants?
To protect molars, we apply a protective resin to the bottom of their fissures that protects against attacks from acids and bacteria, thereby saving the tooth from cavities.
– When your child drinks juice, milk, or sodas throughout the day
– If your child loves bread, sweets, cakes, and candies and doesn't brush their teeth well after eating
– If it's difficult to convince your child to brush their teeth every evening
– If our bacteria test indicates the presence of cariogenic bacteria
– If cavities are already present, in order to preserve molars that are yet unaffected
As soon as the permanent molars appear! Fissure sealings can be performed beginning at about 6 years old (or when the first permanent molar appears), then again around 12 years (when the wisdom teeth come in).
Absolutely! Baby molars are particularly susceptible to attack from acids and food remnants. This is not only because baby teeth have thinner enamel, but also because infants are generally less committed to their dental hygiene.
As a precautionary measure, Dr. Agachi can perform a bacteria test to determine if certain bacteria responsible for cavities are present in your child’s mouth. The results of this test also allow a rapid assessment of your child’s risk for cavities. If cariogenic microbes are found, cavities themselves can always be avoided with regular exams, fluoride treatments, and by sealing the furrows, fissures, and pits of the molars.
– They reduce the risk of cavities by over 80% compared to teeth without sealants!
– They guarantee a protection that lasts many years.
Dr. Agachi also commits to renewing any sealant that has worn or fallen off, free of charge, for 3 years- so that your child can benefit from this cavity protection for as long as possible.
Sealant wear is actually a normal consequence of eating and brushing, therefore sealants should be examined during your regular biannual checkups.
Fissure sealants are semi-permanent. They are long-lasting, but the state of the sealant depends on the child’s brushing and dieting habits.
For this reason, normal wear is expected, and sealants should be examined regularly during regular checkups. You should plan on scheduling checkups once every six months.
Absolutely not! The procedure generally takes no more than 15-30 minutes and is entirely painless. At first, your child may sense a little discomfort as the varnish will minutely (but noticeably) raise the surface of the tooth. But this sensation will quickly disappear with habit!
If, however, your child suffers severe anxiety, Dr. Agachi can perform the treatment after administering nitrous oxide.
Unfortunately, fissure sealants are only effective at protecting from cavities that would otherwise occur within the fissures themselves (although these constitute 80% of all cavities). They can’t protect from cavities that occur on the lateral surfaces of the teeth, nor in the interdental spaces. Therefore, continued good brushing and flossing is still imperative!