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Dental Sealants: Protecting Against Tooth Decay

The use of dental sealants is universally recognized as a cost-effective and proven evidence-based method of reducing the incidence of dental caries in high-risk populations. Sealant utilization in California remains low, however, especially among groups such as low-income children who have the highest risk of developing tooth decay.
The October 2010 issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association (CDA) is devoted to evidence-based recommendations intended to increase the dental professional’s comfort level in making appropriate contemporary sealant recommendation and placement decisions. Based on the ADA’s 2008 sealant guidelines, the Journal includes information on the science related to sealant application, a comparison of the types of sealant materials available, tooth preparation, and the use of adhesives prior to sealant placement. The similarities and differences between sealant use in private practice and in public healthcare settings, including school-based programs, is al-so examined as well as prevention and management protocols based on caries risk assessment. “Dental sealants can reduce the incidence of tooth decay in school children by more than 70%,” said Paul Reggiardo, DDS, chair of the CDA Policy Development Council’s 2008 Sealant Workgroup. “The Journal’s recommendations give oral healthcare providers effective guidelines on the utilization and placement of sealants.”
In addition to the Journal, the CDA has also published a new dental sealant resource fact sheet and patient education flyer. The fact sheet is printed in multiple languages and contains information on the benefits of dental sealants, which are proven to be the most effective method of reducing cavities in children. For more information on dental sealants, visit the Web site cda.org/popup/dental_sealants.
(Source: Journal of the California Dental Association news release, October 2010)

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