This study aimed to assess the utilization of fissure sealants and their influence on caries reduction in first permanent molars (FPMs) among 6-9 years old female schoolchildren in Dammam, Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
Materials and Methods:
First to fourth grade female children from public schools in Dammam participated in this cross-sectional study. Dental caries and fissure sealants in FPMs were examined clinically using the World Health Organization guidelines. In addition, the parents of the participants responded to a self-reported questionnaire.
The study analyzed the data of 449 children. Almost 44.3% of the participants had at least one FPM affected with caries. There were 8.7% of the participants who had fissure sealants in at least one FPM, and out of these, only 2.2% had four FPMs filled with sealants. A significantly greater proportion of participants with sealed FPMs had no caries than the lower proportion of participants without sealants who had caries (P=<0.05). The use of sealants increased significantly from first grade (10.3%) to second grade (30.8%), third grade (38.5%), and fourth grade (20.5%) (P=0.006). High monthly family income (P= 0.047) and having insurance (P=0.017) were significantly associated with increased sealant application. Nearly 21.9% of participants’ parents were aware of caries protective effects of dental sealants.
The application of sealants was significantly associated with reduced caries in FPMs. Class year, monthly family income, and insurance were significantly associated with having sealants. Caries prevention programs for children should incorporate sealant application.
Keywords: Sealants, Caries, First permanent molars, Prevention, Awareness, School children.
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The authors are grateful to all individuals who facilitated data collection from schools.
Open-Access License: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia; E-mail: email@example.com