Pit & Fissure Sealants
Here in Dubai, the water is not fluoridated and we rely on fluoride in the toothpaste we use to help strengthen the teeth. This is really not enough and a way of subsidising this is through regular Fluoride applications of topical gel or varnish. The other form of protection to the teeth is through Pit & Fissure sealants. These are plastic coatings painted onto the susceptible areas which are mainly the fissures on the biting surfaces of the back teeth. These sealants prevent food particles, plaque and acid from entering the more vulnerable areas therefore protecting them from decay.
It is advised that children visit the dental clinic by their first birthday and this is for two reasons. Firstly, it allows the children to experience a ride in the dental chair and have a fun interactive visit so that on future appointments they will look forward to it as they associate the dentist with fun and happy times.
Secondly we are able to monitor the developmental process of the teeth and jaws almost from birth and identify any early signs of dental decay or delayed development. Both of these are very important to the long term health of the mouth and really play a large part in reducing the amount of invasive treatment in the future. In the case of delayed development of the jaws, this can affect the eruption and positioning of the permanent teeth. If one of the jaws is too small, the teeth in the opposite jaw will not have room to come through in the correct position and can result in bite problems. The most common form of treatment is expansion plates that encourage growth and if caught early, the chance of a child needing braces later is much reduced. We also provide other appliances such a ‘Space Maintainers’ to hold any space created through early extraction of baby teeth and habit breakers for children finding it difficult to stop thumb sucking.
A cavity that is identified early, can be restored with just a small filling which will last much longer and also has the added benefit that in many instances, no injections are necessary. If local anaesthesia is required, we do not use the traditional syringes but instead, a mechanised ‘Wand’ system that is much less scary as it looks more like a pen, and delivers the anaesthesia just to the tooth required in a slow and painless fashion. In this way, children do not become frightened and the whole experience is far more positive. We also use the latest techniques and equipment including the Waterlase Laser system instead of the traditional noisy drills. This laser has more of a popping sound and therefore the child feels more relaxed. At Dentist Direct, we recommend routine visits dependent on the individual needs of the child. For instance, a child that has no evidence of dental decay would be seen on a six monthly basis but a child that has required some fillings or there is a concern on development of the jaws may be seen more regularly as a way of monitoring the situation and intervening at an early stage if necessary.