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J Dent Res. 1995 Sep;74(9):1583-90.

A longitudinal evaluation of fissure sealants applied in dental practices.

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  • 1Faculty of Dentistry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Sealants are highly effective in preventing dental caries in the pits and fissures of teeth when applied by trained operators in clinical trials and public health programs. The effectiveness of fissure sealants when applied in dental practices is still not known. The purpose of this longitudinal study was to evaluate the effectiveness of fissure sealants applied in dental practices in preventing dental caries on occlusal surfaces of first permanent molars. In 1990, on the Island of Montréal, 911 randomly selected children, from 6 to 9 years of age, were examined; out of those, 816 and 733 were re-examined in 1991 and 1992, respectively. Only the 733 children with complete examination records were included in this evaluation. Sealant applications were either personally paid for or were paid for by private dental insurers. All children were covered for diagnosis and restorative care by a publicly financed and universal insurance program. Dental treatment records were provided by Quebec's health insurance board. In the epidemiological examination, the occlusal surfaces of first permanent molars, which are the only surfaces included in this analysis, were classified into: sound, non-cavitated and cavitated status, restored, and sealed. Sealants were evaluated for full or partial coverage of the occlusal surface and presence of dental caries. During the first and second years, 11.6% and 17.5% of the students had new sealants. The number of new sealants placed during the two years was 507. Children with caries-free status and whose parents had high school education or higher were significantly more likely to receive sealants during the study.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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