Pit and Fissure Sealants
A sealant is a protective plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant forms a hard shield which keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves and crevices in the teeth, thus preventing decay. They are safe and totally pain free and the teeth do not feel any different afterwards. They also blend in with the natural colour of the teeth.
Fissure Sealants usually last for many years. However they are checked regularly to ensure that they are still intact. We recommend that fissure sealants be applied as soon as the permanent teeth erupt in the mouth.
Also called Composite Fillings, Tooth-Coloured Fillings are made of durable plastic material mixed with small glass particles. Similar in colour and texture to natural teeth, these fillings are less noticeable and much more attractive than silver (amalgam) or gold fillings.
Teeth filled with composite material tend to be stronger as minimal tooth preparation (or drilling) is required and the composite material bonds more effectively to the surrounding tooth structure. Also this composite material has a thermal expansion coefficient very similar to natural teeth. This means that the filling will expand and contract, on drinking hot and cold drinks just as a natural tooth would.
Cracked Tooth Syndrome
Cracked teeth are growing problem because people are keeping their teeth longer many of which are weakened and undermined by fillings.
Symptoms of Cracked Tooth Syndrome
- Pain on chewing or when releasing the biting pressure. Often this pain is short, sharp and specific.
- Sensitivity to hot, cold or sweet foods.
- Constant toothache, (this usually means that the nerve of the tooth is now damaged and is also likely to need root canal treatment).
Causes of Cracked Tooth Syndrome
- Large fillings – these weaken the teeth mechanically. Silver amalgam fillings contain mercury which will contract and expand on temperature changes at a much greater rate than the remaining tooth structure. This will weaken the tooth, making it more likely to crack.
- Habits such as clenching and grinding.
- Accidents such as knocks or blows to the jaw, biting down on hard foods (eg. bones or fruit stones or pips)
Treatment of Cracked Tooth Syndrome
Treatment depends of the location, direction and extent of the crack.
In this case a composite resin filling is usually sufficient as this material bonds to the tooth structure and holds it together whilst preventing further cracks.
These may require crowns to bind the entire tooth together.