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Evaluation of a community fissure sealant programme in County Meath, Ireland

Evaluation of a community fissure sealant programme in County Meath, Ireland

Community Dental Health 20(3): 146-152

To evaluate the fissure sealant programme operated by the North Eastern Health Board Dental Service in County Meath, Republic of Ireland. The fissure sealant programme forms part of the school dental service aimed at children in first class (age group 6-7 years). Cross sectional study with retrospective analysis of dental records. Schools in County Meath in 1999. Children in fourth class (mean age 9.6 years) in the school year 1999/2000 who had participated in the fissure sealant programme in the school year 1996/97. Sealant retention using the criteria of Simonsen. The mean age of sealant was 2.3 years. Fifty six percent of sealants were completely retained, 27% were partially retained and 12.8% were missing. The majority (73%) of children had some sealant on at least one tooth. Caries experience in previously sealed teeth was low (2.9%). Children who had all four first permanent molars sealed had a significantly lower DMFT (visual) than those who had no sealants (Wilcoxan p < 0.0001). Despite lack of maintenance of sealants in this study, retention rates compared favourably with similar international studies and caries experience in previously sealed teeth was low. The use of a written sealant policy and protocol for sealant application and equipment maintenance could further improve retention rates. Children who had no sealants had significantly poorer dental health than children who had all four first permanent molars sealed.

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Accession: 048993329

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PMID: 12940304

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