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Open Dent J. 2013 Aug 23;7:102-8. doi: 10.2174/18742106201305130001. eCollection 2013.

Retention loss of resin based fissure sealants - a valid predictor for clinical outcome?

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SYSTEM Initiative/Department of Community Dentistry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand - 7 York Rd., Parktown/Johannesburg 2193, South Africa.



The null-hypothesis that retention loss of resin fissure sealants predicts caries manifestation no more accurately than random values was tested.


Systematic reviews were checked and electronic databases searched for clinical trials. Trials reporting on the retention of resin sealants and caries occurrence in permanent molar teeth, with minimum 24-month follow-up period, were included. Extracted data: number of sealed teeth, number of teeth without completely retained sealants, number of sealed teeth with caries. The number of teeth with complete sealant retention and absence of carious lesions/cavities was calculated; the predictive outcomes: true/false positive; false/true negative were established. Random values were generated as control-data. Diagnostic Odds ratios (DOR) were computed and tested for statistical difference. Summary Receiver Operating Characteristic curves were plotted.


95 trials were found. Median DOR values were 1.21 and 0.28 for test- and control data, respectively. Wilcoxon test (z = 0.56; p = 0.58) and Sign test (z = 1.38; p = 0.17) results were statistically non-significant. The null-hypothesis was not rejected.


Predictions based on the retention loss of resin sealants, regarding caries manifestation, was no more accurate than random guesses. Sealant retention loss appears not to be a valid predictor for clinical outcome.


Diagnostic Odds ratio; fissure sealant; resin; retention; surrogate endpoint; tooth caries.

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