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August JADA finds sealed primary molars have lower caries risk

July 25, 2019

By Mary Beth Versaci

Sealed primary molars are less likely to develop pit-and-fissure caries, according to a study published in the August issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

August JADA
The cover article, titled "Sealed primary molars are less likely to develop caries," evaluated the association between light-polymerized, resin-based, fluoride-releasing sealants and the development of pit-and-fissure caries on primary molars.

As part of the three-year retrospective study, the authors examined the dental records of 297 children younger than 6 years old at high risk for developing caries, recording the sealant placement or nonplacement on primary molars in outpatient clinic or operating room settings.

The odds of developing pit-and-fissure carious lesions in sealed primary molars were 0.055 and 0.013 times the odds of nonsealed primary molars when sealants were placed in the outpatient clinic and operating room, respectively. In molars that became carious, those that were sealed in the outpatient clinic were associated with delayed caries development.

"Our study provides scientific evidence that highlights the important role of sealants on caries prevention in primary molars," said Dr. Rosalyn Sulyanto, corresponding author and instructor in the Department of Dentistry at Boston Children's Hospital. "These findings will guide dental treatment decisions for our pediatric patients at Boston Children's Hospital, particularly those with early childhood caries. We hope our findings will also serve as a foundational study for the development of treatment standards in pediatric dentistry."

To read the article, visit

Other articles in the August issue of JADA include a pilot study on the disinfection of dental loupes, a review comparing the success of a bioactive dentin substitute and other medicaments in the pulpotomy of primary teeth and a feature on the ethics of service dogs in the dental office.

Every month, JADA articles are published online at in advance of the print publication.