Once a decay from an area like a pit or fissure reaches the dentine it progresses much quicker. Removing decay and placing a filling when it is small is always best. If you want to wait until you notice pain or the tooth breaks, the filling required at that time will be very large and the tooth will be weaker and possibly need a root filling and Crown.
There are many types of fillings available. The type, shape, size and necessary extras (pulp caps, incisal edges, cusp caps, crown lengthening etc.) will be assessed and recommended by the dentist. While filling materials are getting better with time sometimes a filling will not be appropriate and an Inlay/Onlay or Crown will be recommended. Occasionally a filling may be tried to assess the tooth further and sometimes unfortunately a tooth is not savable. A second opinion with another dentist or a specialist dentist may be recommended or chosen depending on the patients’ needs or wishes.
The most common place to get a decay is where it is impossible to clean, this means the deep pits, fissures, or grooves that are in the top and sides of teeth. Fissure seals are a preventative treatment to help keep the tooth strong and free from decay. Air Abrasion helps the fissure seal to bond to the tooth and last longer. Fissure seals are best placed soon after the tooth fully erupts and before it starts to decay.
Whether a fissure seal or a filling is recommended depends on the presence or progress of decay. The dental probe, X-rays, DiagnoDent and DiagnoCam can be helpful in diagnosing decay and recommending the appropriate treatment.
If you would like more information on fillings or fissure sealants or to book an appointment, please contact the Wendouree Dental team on 03 5339 3770.