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3.5 Criteria and Methods for Selecting Teeth to Be Sealed

Magnification

  • Few studies have assessed whether the use of magnification in addition to unaided visual inspection results in improved assessment, and findings from existing studies have been inconsistent. Therefore, although magnification can be used in the assessment, it is not necessary and may not be helpful.

Technologically Advanced Tools

  • Technologically advanced tools, such as laser fluorescence, are designed to help oral health professionals interpret visual cues in detecting and monitoring lesions over time, especially early, non-cavitated lesions. These tools should be used only as adjunctive devices to detect caries lesions and are not required to detect cavitation.
  • Findings from validation studies of these tools indicate an increase in the detection of non-cavitated lesions, as well as an increase in the likelihood that a sound surface will be mistakenly identified as carious. Therefore, the use of such tools by themselves will lead to many sound teeth in high-risk children being misdiagnosed as carious and thus possibly precluded from receiving dental sealants. For this reason, and also because these tools are not needed to detect cavitation and are costly, their use in school-based dental sealant programs is not recommended.5