Dental Trends

Sealants—more conclusive evidence.

September 22, 2016

In a recent post, we discussed the benefits of sealants in preventive care and explored some of the reasons why this method might be underutilized. The New York Times has since published a piece offering further evidence that sealants help prevent cavities.

According to the article, Cochrane (a global independent network of researchers and health care professionals) reviewed 34 studies on the effectiveness of sealants among children and adolescents. The clear conclusion: sealants help keep cavities at bay for at least four years after first application.

One of the reviewed studies followed a randomized group of children for nine years and found that 77 percent of the youngsters without sealants developed cavities by the time they reached adolescence, compared to only 27 percent of the children with sealants.

Despite this evidence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed in a 2015 data brief that only 40% of children aged 6-11 had any sealants at all. Unsurprisingly, the figure is even lower for children from low-income households with poor access to dental care.

Have any thoughts on why sealants aren’t more prevalent despite all this evidence? Drop us a line here.