Dental Tribune America

Sealed primary molars reduce caries risk

BOSTON, U.S.: In a recent study, researchers have examined the association between light-polymerized, resin-based and fluoride-releasing sealants and the development of pit-and-fissure caries in primary molars. The findings suggest that sealed primary molars are less likely to develop pit-and-fissure caries. Therefore, the researchers recommend applying dental sealants on primary molars of children who are at high caries risk.

As part of the three-year retrospective study, researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital examined the dental records of 297 children younger than 6 years old who were at high risk of developing caries. They recorded the sealant placement or nonplacement on primary molars in outpatient clinic or operating room settings.

The data indicated that the likelihood of developing pit-and-fissure carious lesions in sealed primary molars were 0.055 and 0.013 times the odds of developing these lesions in nonsealed primary molars when sealants were placed in the outpatient clinic and the operating room, respectively. Carious molars that were sealed in both the outpatient clinic and the operating room were linked with delayed caries development.

“Our study provides scientific evidence that highlights the important role of sealants on caries prevention in primary molars,” said senior author Dr. Rosalyn Sulyanto, an instructor at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and a pediatric dentist at Boston Children’s Hospital. “These findings will guide dental treatment decisions for our pediatric patients at Boston Children’s Hospital, particularly those with early childhood caries. We hope our findings will also serve as a foundational study for the development of treatment standards in pediatric dentistry,” she concluded.

The study, titled “Sealed primary molars are less likely to develop caries,” was published online in the August 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

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