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Researchers find varying patterns for sealant treatment recommendation

Dental sealants are recognised as an effective approach to preventing caries in children. (Photograph: KUNPISIT/Shutterstock)

Mar 23, 2016 | News Asia Pacific

Researchers find varying patterns for sealant treatment recommendation
by Dental Tribune International

KITAKYUSHU, Japan: Japanese researchers have examined dentist practice patterns regarding the recommendation of dental sealants for treatment and identified characteristics associated with this recommendation. They found that these patterns vary widely. According to the researchers, recommending a sealant was significantly related to the dentist having a greater belief in the effectiveness of caries risk assessment.

In the study, the researchers surveyed 189 dentists recruited from the Japanese Dental Practice-Based Research Network regarding the treatment decision in the case of a 12-year-old patient with a high caries risk via a cross-sectional questionnaire. The participants were presented with a series of clinical photographs of the occlusal surface of a mandibular first molar portraying increasing depths of cavitation.

For the hypothetical scenarios, the dentists’ recommendations of sealants varied from 16 to 26 per cent. Nineteen per cent of the dentists recommended sealants in the absence of dark brown pigmentation. Forty-eight per cent of the dentists recommended sealants to more than 25 per cent of patients aged 6–18. An analysis of the responses suggested that the dentist’s belief in the effectiveness of caries risk assessment was significantly associated with the percentage of patients who would receive sealants.

Dr Naoki Kakudate from Kyushu Dental University first presented the study, titled “Evidence-practice gap for sealant application: Results from a Dental PBRN”, at the 45th Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the American Association for Dental Research, which was held from 16 to 19 March in Los Angeles in the US.

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