Preventing cavities is better than treating them. And this is even more true for children, so difficult to deal with the hateful drill. But it is the little ones, greedy for candy and unable to brush their teeth well who are the most prone to cavities.
In recent years, a new preventive practice has spread: the sealing of molars in pediatric age which would halve the risk of ending up on the chair for a filling.
We talked about it with Luigi Paglia, Director of the Maternal-Child Dentistry Department of the Del Paeseno Stomatological Institute in our city.
Molar sealing is done to prevent tooth decay. It is not an invasive procedure and no anesthesia is required
The furrows and fissures of the permanent molars, due to their anatomical conformation, represent an ideal place for the nesting and proliferation of bacteria. The surface of these elements has little enamel and is therefore more subject to cariogenic attacks. Furthermore, in these areas the onset and evolution of caries is particularly rapid: both because there is little self-cleansing by oral fluids and the tongue, and because it is more difficult for the toothbrush to reach the molars.
Sealing is a very simple procedure to carry out: after having cleaned the surface of the tooth with a special brush, it is etched for 20 seconds. UOnce the tooth has been isolated from salivary fluids with cotton or a rubber dam, sealant is applied which is then light cured. It is neither painful nor invasive, so much so that it does not require any form of anesthesia.
The preventive effect of sealing decreases over the years: from 87% protection it drops to 65% after 9 years and a second application can be made
The effectiveness in preventing caries depends on how well the sealant adheres to the tooth. The main cause of failure is contamination by organic fluids, which can occur when the sealant is applied. A well done seal can also prove to be permanent. But if the need arises to repeat it, this usually occurs on average no earlier than six years after the first application. The treatment can be repeated over time - if the sealant has been completely or partially consumed due to the masticatory forces - with the same procedure as the first time.
According to the data provided by the Ministry of Health, the preventive effect of this practice stands at 87,1% assessed three years after its application, 76.3% at four years and 65.0% at nine years.
Molar sealing, some say no
Not all dentists practice carpet sealing of molars on all baby-patients in the age group concerned. Some think this is just yet another business on children. In an article published on Panorama.com Otello Marchi, specialist in maxillofacial surgery, explains his somewhat counter-current position as follows: "I perform it only in 30% of cases, when in the child there is a predisposition for cleaning the teeth less accurate, for example because he wears braces to straighten his teeth ”. The seal would not be total protection - this is Marchi's objection - and the risk would be that of closing with sealants and then discovering that caries still form underneath, so everything must be removed and a filling done. In short, "if the child does a good cleaning of the teeth, the sealing of the molars is not so essential". Better, according to him, regular visits and checks by his dentist.
- teeth sealing
- molar sealing
- tooth decay in children
- prevent tooth decay
- 3-5 children years