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4.4 Dental Sealant Retention Evaluation

Retention checks can detect clinical problems related to sealant materials, equipment, or application techniques. Retention is checked using visual and tactile techniques.

Short-term retention checks are conducted within 2 months after sealant placement to identify any early problems with sealant retention. Short-term retention checks are performed preferably by a dentist or dental hygienist who did not place the sealants. Short-term retention checks do not need to be conducted on a regular basis.

Any of the following can trigger the need for short-term retention checks:

  • Changes to clinical procedures (e.g., technique, materials).
  • Malfunctions in equipment (e.g., moisture contamination in air line, faulty curing light).

Long-term retention checks are conducted approximately 1 year after sealant placement and are conducted by a dentist or dental hygienist. The purpose of long-term retention checks is to assess both the need for sealant repair or replacement for children and the ability of the dental sealant program to place high-quality sealants.