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Pit-and-Fissure Sealants

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Overview

Dental sealants are recognized as an effective approach to preventing pit and fissure caries in children. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2005 that among children aged 6–19 years, only 32 percent had received dental sealants. The national oral health objectives for dental sealants, as stated in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiative Healthy People 2010 (PDF), include increasing the proportion of children who have received dental sealants on their molar teeth to 50 percent.

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ADA Evidence-based Clinical Recommendations

Clinical questions remain about the indications for placing pit-and-fissure sealants, the criteria for their placement over early noncavitated caries and techniques to improve retention and effectiveness. In an attempt to provide clinical guidance on these questions, the ADA convened an expert panel who conducted a critical evaluation of the collective body of published scientific evidence. The panel’s conclusions and clinical recommendations are presented as a tool for dentists to use in making clinically sound decisions about sealant use and should be integrated with the practitioner’s professional judgment and the individual patient’s needs and preferences.

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Additional Resources

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