This measure was retired after reporting year 2021. A new child dental sealant measure will be added to the DVHA Dental Measures Scorecard by the end of reporting year 2022.
Percentage of enrolled children ages 6 to 9 at elevated risk of dental caries (i.e. "moderate" or "high") who received a sealant on a permanent first molar tooth within the reporting year.
Dental caries is the most common chronic disease in children in the United States. In 2009-2010, 14% of children aged 3-5 years had untreated dental caries. Among children aged 6-9 years, 17% had untreated dental caries, and among adolescents aged 13-15, 11% had untreated dental caries. Identifying caries early is important to reverse the disease process, prevent progression of caries, and reduce incidence of future lesions. Approximately three quarters of children younger than age 6 years did not have at least one visit to a dentist in the previous year. Evidence based Clinical Recommendations recommend that sealants should be placed on pits and fissures of chilren's primary and permanent teeeth when it is determined that the tooth, or the patient, is at risk of experiencing caries. The evidence for sealant effectiveness in permanent molars is stronger than evidence for primary molars.
During 2020, dental offices were closed for several months due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. These changes led to a decline in the number of children receiving a sealant.
Last updated: October 2022