We can do some amazing things with restorative dentistry these days. But we know that our patients are happier when they don’t have to do restorative dentistry. And making our patients happy is what we’re all about at Oasis Dental Arts.
That’s why we’re happy to offer many preventive dentistry procedures that can protect teeth from decay. And one of these very effective preventive dentistry procedures is the use of dental sealants. And now a new study confirms that sealants are effective at cavity reduction for four years, and maybe as long as 9 years! That’s a long time to enjoy protection of your teeth for a simple and inexpensive intervention.
Strong Evidence for Dental Sealants
The new study is actually a review of existing research on dental sealants. It was published on July 31 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
It looked at a total of 38 studies that involved 7924 young people aged 5 to 16 years. Not all of the studies were similar enough to combine data, but seven of them were, and when researchers did, they found that application of sealants reduced the incidence of cavities from 40% (2 out of 5) to 6% (about 1 out of 17), or about 85% reduction. Those at the highest risk, estimated at 70%, saw their cavity incidence reduce to only 8.9% (87% reduction).
Most of the data was for the period from one to four years, when about 70% of dental sealants were expected to remain in place. Some studies had data up to 9 years, when only about 39% were still in place, but this data was less reliable.
The Authority of Cochrane Reviews
Most people aren’t familiar with Cochrane Reviews, but they’re widely recognized as the most reliable source in evidence-based medicine. These are systematic reviews that look at all the primary studies performed on a particular question. They then bring that evidence together, looking first at the validity of the studies. In this case, they found that the studies were fairly high quality, although they couldn’t be blinded because dentists could see whether sealants had been applied or not.
Once they have identified all the valid studies on a particular question to determine whether the evidence supports using a particular treatment. They regularly update their reviews so they continue to reflect the best current science on a question. This review was originally written in 1999, updated in 2013, and now we’re seeing the results of the most recent update, which includes information up to August 2016, including seven new studies since the last review.
Although researchers feel confident about the results, they also want to see more long-term studies that show the prolonged effect of sealants.
We would also add that more research should be done on the effectiveness for adults.
Are You Looking for a Dentist Who Cares?
If you’re looking for a Scripps Ranch dentist who wants to help protect your teeth and your overall health, then look no further than Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi at Oasis Dental Arts. Our emphasis is on long-term relationships with our patients that help us help them maintain good oral and overall health.
To learn whether we’re the right dentist for you, please call (858) 271-1010 today for an appointment at Oasis Dental Arts.