Public Health Programs

Pit and fissure sealants can be placed in many settings; therefore, it is a portable procedure. This has led to many uses by public health dentistry. Most of the historical studies that were used to determine the efficacy of dental sealants were done in public health settings. Since this procedure can be done with minimal equipment and costs, those with access problems can be accommodated. There are programs such as “Seal America” which provide resources for community groups to start sealant programs.

There has been more focus on population-based health at the state and national level. United States Public Health Service has established national health objective for the year 2020 to increase the proportion of children and adolescents who have received dental sealants on their molar teeth. Oregon’s Senate Bill 660 states “By using evidence-based data and best practices, the Oregon Health Authority shall promote oral health throughout this state by ensuring the availability of dental sealant programs to students attending school in Oregon.” On the other hand, Pew Children’s Dental Campaign released a report focusing on prevention, examining states’ efforts to improve access to sealants for low-income kids. They reported that 35 states and the District of Columbia do not have sealant programs in a majority of high-need schools—those with a high proportion of children most at risk of decay. Unfortunately, four states have no programs in these schools.