Evidence Indicates Children Strongly Benefit From Sealants

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The ADA News (7/25, Manchir) reports that the August edition of The Journal of the American Dental Association contains a systematic review of the use of sealants as well as clinical practice guidelines that have been updated as a result of that review, which indicate the benefit of using sealants to prevent and manage occlusal caries in children and adolescents. “The guidelines show that sealants are more effective in managing pit and fissure caries than fluoride treatments, such as varnish,” said the article’s lead author, Dr. John Timothy Wright. “They also show that benefits are obtained by the variety of materials currently marketed in the United States for sealant use (e.g. resin based materials, glass ionomer materials, polyacid-modified resin, and resin-modified glass ionomers).” According to the article, the analysis indicated that children treated with sealants have about a 70 to 80 percent reduction in the incidence of occlusal caries compared with children that do not receive sealants.

The ADA Catalog offers three illustrated handouts to help explain sealant benefits to patients: the brochure “Dental Sealants: Protecting Teeth, Preventing Decay,” (W291); the mini-brochure “Seal Out Decay” (W191); and the “Sealants Quick Reference,” a two-sided card (W276).

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on sealants.

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