The groove filling to prevent from tooth decay is a method using Sealant (composite or glassionormer) fills holes and slots on the chewing surface of permanent molar tooth to prevent the early formed and developed tooth decay.
Why groove filling?
According to some studies, the rate of decayed chewing-surface tooth is very high, making up 90% of the total cases.
Because there are many holes and slots in the anatomical chewing surface, it is hard to be cleaned by brush, remaining food makes conditions for bacterial plaque development, leading to decay. The groove decay rapidly develops and related to the depth of the holes and slots.
The 6-to-12-year-old children had 6th and 7th teeth. These are the early growing permanent teeth, having chewing surface with many holes and slots, locating at the back of the upper jaw; therefore, they are hard to be cleaned. At this stage, teeth have just erupted, but calcification of enamel has not completed yet (calcification will be finished after next two years). Thus, resistance is not so good that tooth is decayed, especially in the grooves. Frequency of the grooves decay is the highest at four years after the teeth eruption and it continues in the later years.
The 6th and 7th molars play an important role in the permanent teeth. Thus, the groove decay protection for the 6th and 7th teeth is of particular importance, which helps children get healthy teeth during in their life.
Sealant still being in right place in 3-5 years will be considered the success; however, sealant can last much longer. It is not uncommon to see sealant placed during childhood but still intact exiting on the adult’s teeth.
Effects of the groove filling
The grooves after cleaning and sealing will make the chewing surface molar flatter, easier to brush. Thus, residue food has no place to stay, bacteria’s destroy will decrease; those are reasons why we will control and prevent the early tooth decay.
The groove filling technique
The sooner the groove filling is done, the better children get. When they have 6th tooth (6 years old) and 7th tooth (12 years old), some deep grooves in the teeth’s chewing surface can keep food to facilitate the decay development.
The simple sealing process is done quickly, without losing the hard structure of teeth, without paining throughout the implementation process and beyond.
Firstly, the groove surface is cleaned by brush and pumice. Next, the surface is treated by solution to increase the adhesion of sealant. Finally, sealant is put on surface groove. Sealant will be hard by itself if it is a chemical polymerization or by halogen lamp if it is a light cured polymerization.
The groove filling is one of the methods to prevent school-age children from tooth decay effectively, and it is considered as a method bringing great effect with acceptable cost. However, in order to increase the effectiveness of this way, after filling, children should checkup every six months to detect and seal the peeled filling.
The filling made of glassionormer cement will release fluoride from filling material to harden enamel, increase resistance to decay, increase remineralization and secondary dentin, changes bacteria composition and products transformed from plaque. Even if the filling is peeled, there is still a little sticking material at the depth of the grooves to anti-decay.