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Key Points

  • The effectiveness of resin-based dental sealants has been demonstrated repeatedly and depends upon sealant retention. OOH follows ADA evidence-based clinical recommendations for dental sealants. As such, until and unless such recommendations change, OOH-funded school-based dental sealant programs should choose resin-based materials over glass ionomer materials.
  • Sealant materials that work well in private practice may not be the most appropriate for school-based dental sealant programs. Programs must select the sealant material that works best in the conditions under which they operate.
  • Meticulous isolation of tooth surfaces to avoid saliva contamination combined with etching for 15 to 20 seconds with 30 to 40 percent phosphoric acid is the standard for successful bonding of sealants to enamel.
  • Sealants should be evaluated for complete coverage and absence of voids or bubbles immediately after placement.
  • Retention checks can detect clinical problems related to sealant materials, equipment, or application techniques.
  • Short-term retention checks are conducted within 2 months after sealant placement to identify any problems with sealant retention.
  • Long-term retention checks are conducted approximately 1 year after sealant placement and are conducted by a dentist or dental hygienist..