This module offers information on how to assess a child's teeth to determine whether he/she would benefit from dental sealant placement. It presents an overview of the dental caries disease process, emphasizing practical concepts related to caries prevalence, cavitated vs. non-cavitated lesions, detection and diagnosis, and aids for caries detection. The module also presents information on how to determine whether to seal teeth and which teeth to seal.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the differences between a cavitated and a non-cavitated caries lesion.
  • Explain the differences between an active lesion and an arrested lesion.
  • Describe the types of lesions in the pit-and-fissure surfaces that should be sealed in school-based dental sealant programs.
  • Explain the objectives of caries detection and diagnosis.
  • List three ways that an explorer may be used during tooth examination.
  • List two reasons that X-rays are not necessary for tooth selection in school-based dental sealant programs.
  • List three things that dentists and dental hygienists working in school-based dental sealant programs should consider when evaluating whether sealants placed the previous year need repair or replacement.

Time to Complete this Lesson Module: Approximately 20 minutes