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Here is some information regarding treatments we can provide onsite as well as the benefits and risks involved. 


Treatments are completed if and only when the practitioner sees that your child requires a treatment from the list that is available here. 

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Fluoride Treatment

What is it and why do we do it?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth's enamel layer through two processes, demineralisation and remineralisation. Minerals are lost (demineralisation) from a tooth's enamel layer when acids -- formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth -- attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are redeposited (remineralisation) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Too much demineralisation without enough remineralisation to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay.

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralise the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralisation as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.

What are the potential Risks/Side effects?

Fluoride is safe and effective when used as directed but can be hazardous at high doses (the "toxic" dosage level varies based on an individual's weight). For this reason, it's important for parents to carefully supervise their children's use of fluoride-containing products and to keep fluoride products out of reach of children, especially children under the age of 6.

In addition, excess fluoride can cause defects in the tooth's enamel that range from barely noticeable white specks or streaks to cosmetically objectionable brown discolouration. These defects are known as fluorosis and occur when the teeth are forming -- usually in children younger than 6 years. Fluorosis, when it occurs, is usually associated with naturally occurring fluoride, such as that found in well water predominantly found in farming communities. If you use well water and are uncertain about the mineral (especially fluoride) content, a water sample should be tested. Although tooth staining from fluorosis cannot be removed with normal hygiene, your dentist may be able to lighten or remove these stains with professional-strength abrasives or bleaches.

Bite-Wing Radiographs

Dental X-rays (radiographs) are images of your teeth that your dentist uses to evaluate your oral health. These X-rays are used with low levels of radiation to capture images of the interior of your teeth and gums. This can help your dentist to identify problems, like cavities, tooth decay, and impacted teeth.

Dental X-rays may seem complex, but they’re actually very common tools that are just as important as your teeth cleanings.

Why dental are dental x-rays performed?

Dental X-rays are typically performed yearly and are usually associated with a thorough comprehensive oral examination and used if the practitioner sees a benefit. They can happen more often if a practitioner is tracking the progress of a dental problem or treatment.

Factors affecting how often you get dental X-rays may include:


If your child is a new patient, they'll probably undergo dental x-rays so that the practitioner seeing your child can get a clear picture of their dental health. They are trying to detect/monitor any decayed lesions, to check if there is sufficient space when teeth are developing, impacted teeth (unable to emerge through the gums) and to exclude more serious diseases.


Children may need to have dental X-rays more often than adults because their dentists might need to monitor the growth of their adult teeth. This is important because it can help the dentist determine if baby teeth need to be pulled to prevent complications, such as adult teeth growing in behind baby teeth.

How much radiation is in a bitewing x-ray?

When X-rays were first introduced, dentists and other professional did not understand the danger of repeated radiation exposure, and proper safety features and procedures had not yet been developed.

However, as knowledge and technology have advanced, the amount of radiation used and possible patient exposure to it has decreased dramatically.


To put dental X-rays into perspective, let’s compare them to other environmental sources of radiation.

For perspective, a single digital dental X-ray has 0.1mrem of radiation, and a set of 4 bitewings has 0.4mrem.


Compare that to:

  • Natural radiation from soil: 35mrem per year

  • Smoking cigarettes: 1,300mrem per year

  • Transcontinental flight: 2-4mrem

  • Drinking water: 5mrem per year

  • Using natural gas for heating and cooking: 9mrem per year

It’s pretty clear how low the level of radiation is, in a dental X-ray.

One aeroplane flight across the country gives you more radiation exposure than X-rays and eating ten bananas exposes you to as much radiation as one X-ray!

Basically, while dental X-rays expose you to some radiation, the benefits of having them performed outweigh the risks.

Many dental problems are invisible to the naked eye, and X-rays let your dentist discover a range of problems in tooth enamel, gums, and tooth roots.

What are the risks associated with radiographs?

While dental X-rays do involve radiation, the exposed levels are so low that they’re considered safe for children and adults. It goes without saying constant abuse of radiographs are when it becomes unsafe and questionable. Please let Dental for Schools know if your child is undergoing any treatment, dental or other treatments that require constant exposure to radiographs.  


If your dentist uses digital x-rays instead of developing them on film, your risks from radiation exposure are even lower. This is the method Dental for Schools uses when visiting schools in South Australia.

Women who are pregnant or believe they may be pregnant should avoid all types of X-rays, radiation is not considered safe for developing foetuses.

Finally, we at Dental for Schools utilise the use of led aprons that protect the body from radiation and is a fantastic tool to reduce the overall exposure. 

Dental Fissure Sealants

What are Fissure Sealants?

Dental fissure sealants are a protective layer applied on the chewing teeth (the molars) to reduce tooth decay. Applying a sealant is quick and painless and can be done by a dental practitioner.

Sealant is most commonly applied to the grooves, known as fissures, and pits of the back molars. These are the most common locations for cavities in the teeth. The procedure can be done by a dentist, a dental hygienist or an oral health therapist.

Fissure sealants are a white or clear composite resin, similar to a white tooth filling. The sealants provide a barrier against bacteria that can cause plaque. They are designed to prevent tooth decay and cavities.

When do we use Fissure Sealants and the benefits?

The dental practitioner might advise you to have fissure sealants if your child has large grooves or pits in their teeth. Not all teeth with fissures need sealants.

Some dentists will recommend sealants for the first molar teeth, which appear at around 6 years old. The back teeth (second and third molars) emerge at around 13 years and should be checked to see whether sealants might help. Some adults also get sealants.

The dental practitioner might recommend a protective sealant if there is already some tooth decay. The sealant can help limit future decay.

What happens during a Fissure Sealants?

Having fissure sealants applied is a quick and painless procedure. It usually takes a few minutes per tooth and is less complicated than having a cavity filling. There is no need for anaesthetic and usually no drilling.


The dental practitioner will:

  • clean and dry the tooth

  • prepare the tooth surface so that the sealant bonds well

  • paint on the liquid sealant, which will flow into the deep grooves and pits

  • bond and harden the sealant with a strong light

  • check your bite and polish off any excess sealant


What are the Risks and Benefits of Fissure Sealants?

Sealants are a simple and effective means to reduce tooth decay. They provide extra protection from decay, even to those who drink fluoridated water and brush with fluoride toothpaste. The fluoride in water and toothpaste doesn't easily reach into deep grooves or pits. Even the bristles of a toothbrush might not reach that far.

Complications are rare but may include an allergic reaction to the sealant, or a change in your bite if the sealant layer is thick.

Your child should clean their teeth as usual and practise good oral hygiene. Their teeth will be easier to clean because the brush will reach all surfaces.

Sometimes the sealant falls off — this will usually happen within 6 months. It is a good idea to visit the dentist regularly so they can make sure the sealant is in good condition as part of your routine dental check-up. It can wear down over the of years and will then need to be reapplied.

Any questions or need clarification?

We understand that sometimes things are not clear right away and believe no question is a bad or silly one! Please free to reach us anytime on any of our channels:

Call us on (08) 7225 8142

or email us at:

Alternatively you can click the text us button on the home page with your enquiry and someone will quickly get to you.

Let's Make 
SA Smile

We here to help, always.

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