Sealing of grooves and shafts in permanent teeth

Sealing the grooves and shafts of permanent teethSealing the grooves and shafts of permanent teeth

The sealing of dental grooves and shafts represents an effective practice for prevent cavities. It is one of the first procedures performed on children by dentists in Switzerland. It is also performed on adolescents and adults. Regardless of age, this method provides long-lasting protection for tooth surfaces. HELVIDENT explains how the sealing of dental grooves and shafts works. 

Grooves and cavity formation

If you look at the inside of your mouth in a mirror, you'll notice that very fine fissures line the surface of your molars. Often deep and narrow, they are difficult to reach and clean properly with toothbrush. We use our molars to chew our food. Many residues lodge there, forming the ideal nest for the bacteria responsible for tooth decay. It is precisely from these grooves that 80 % of decay in children's permanent teeth begins. Adults are not spared, however, and can develop caries throughout their lives. 

Why use groove sealing?

The masticatory surface of molars is not smooth. It has irregularities known as grooves and pits. These are weak points in the enamel. Specialists have developed a preventive method to combat cavities in these areas. The grooves are filled in to prevent cavity-causing bacteria from developing there. It also makes it easier to brush the tooth surface. Groove sealants provide mechanical protection. The technique is safe, effective and inexpensive.

How are grooves sealed?

Your dentist in Lausanne or Fribourg is used when a tooth has a groove or pit that is susceptible to decay. Groove sealing involves applying a protective material to the inside of grooves and pits to help the tooth better resist decay-causing bacterial attack.

Generally, fissure sealing is performed on the first two permanent molars, which grow in during the child's 6th and 12th years respectively. It can also be performed when the first permanent molars appear. 

This method acts preventively on children's teeth, but can also be used on healthy adult teeth. Completely painless, it requires neither anaesthetic nor lengthy surgery. One session is all it takes. In this way, you prevent your molars from accumulating plaque and becoming the starting point for cavities.

At what age can furrows be sealed?

Dentists recommend this preventive technique primarily for young children. They are most at risk of developing cavities.  

A sealant can be placed on the first permanent molar from the age of 6. For children aged 12 and over, the dentist can then apply a sealant to the second permanent molar. This technique provides lasting protection for the new teeth.

For adolescents and adults, the dentist can only seal the grooves on perfectly healthy teeth. 

Is groove sealing definitive?

The sealant remains in place for several years. However, you should visit your dentist for a check-up every 6 months. The specialist will check the condition of the sealant, its wear and tear, and any delamination. Sealants can be repaired or replaced by your dentist if necessary.

What happens at the dentist's?

Before proceeding, you need to make an initial appointment with your dentist in Lausanne or Fribourg. The oral health professional will thoroughly examine your mouth. He or she will assess the risk of developing cavities and identify healthy teeth that are candidates for sealing. If necessary, the dentist can also take a dental X-ray to refine his or her diagnosis.

If everything is in order, you'll schedule a second appointment to carry out the treatment. On this day, the dentist begins by isolating the tooth to be sealed. He cleans it thoroughly before applying a preparation gel to facilitate the application of the fluid resin coating (a kind of varnish). Finally, he applies the sealing cement.

Sealants are tooth-colored. They are very discreet and cause absolutely no discomfort on a daily basis. When a sealant is placed in grooves and fissures, it protects them from plaque and food residues. This reduces the risk of tooth decay. In general, they also contain fluorine to increase their effectiveness.

Please note that this procedure is not a substitute for good oral hygiene. Continue to brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes. Use brushes or floss to clean interdental spaces. Choose a fluoride toothpaste, eat a balanced diet and visit your dentist regularly.