Momany and McKernan Publish Findings on Patterns of Sealant Use on Adolescents
Susan McKernan, senior research fellow in residence in the Health Policy Research Program, and Elizabeth Momany, associate research scientist in the Health Policy Research Program published their report entitled Variation in General Dentists’ Patterns of Sealant Use in Children with Elevated Caries Risk on June 16 in Sage Journals. Dental sealant is used for the prevention of caries, also known as tooth decay or cavities. The goal of the study was to explore the extent to which dentists’ use of sealant varied in pediatric patients with elevated caries risk.
The results of the study found that 13.3% of dentists did not provide any sealants to their elevated risk patients from the study cohort, and overall, there was substantial variation in practitioners’ use of sealant. This study was the first to explore provider-level variation in sealant use and highlights a critical step for the future to increase routine use of sealants by dentists and eliminate oral health disparities.