Tooth Fissure in Dentistry

Watch Dental Video about Tooth Fissure

"Fissure" is a medical term that has several different meanings. In dentistry, it refers to the valleys in the teeth.

Fissure is the name for valleys located in the chewing area of the side teeth. In contrast, the mountains are called humps. Teeth generally have a main fissure that runs in a longitudinal direction and is known as the longitude fissure.

Analogically, the many small fissures that run laterally are called lateral fissures. The relief of the teeth surface is developed fairly similarly in every human being. However, small differences do exist: For example, some fissures can be very narrow.  There’s a small difference but it makes quite a difference. Because of these small differences, some people get sick easier, while others never suffer from fissure caries. There will be more about this topic in the video entitled "Fissure Cavity". Leftover food and caries-causing bacteria can penetrate fissures. In very narrow fissures, the leftovers and germs cannot be removed with a toothbrush. Furthermore, the enamel is usually thinner in these locations. This has consequences: Caries form and bacterium attack the thin enamel and penetrate deep into the crowns, resulting in fissure caries.


tooth fissure

Diagnosis of fissure caries is difficult because they are often invisible from the outside (the enamel surface can be fully intact). Furthermore, dental diagnosis is complicated due to the narrowness of the fissure. Even x-rays are inconclusive because the enamel coat partially absorbs the rays and small caries lesions frequently get over-shadowed. Therefore, if a fissure is threatened by caries, the dentist should seal the fissure with a thin fluid composed of synthetic resin or composite material once the tooth is perforated. This will prevent bacteria from settling in the oral flora (Fissure seal).

If the fissure is already contaminated, it will have to be cleaned and perhaps even slightly extended through grinding. This is called an extended or invasive fissure seal. More on that topic in the video entitled "Fissure Sealing".

Click here to see the video: Fissure


This post is also available in: German

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