The effectiveness of sealants in managing caries lesions. Academic Article uri icon


  • A barrier to providing sealants is concern about inadvertently sealing over caries. This meta-analysis examined the effectiveness of sealants in preventing caries progression. We searched electronic databases for comparative studies examining caries progression in sealed permanent teeth. We used a random-effects model to estimate percentage reduction in the probability of caries progression in sealed vs. unsealed carious teeth. Six studies, including 4 randomized-controlled trials (RCT) judged to be of fair quality, were included in the analysis (384 persons, 840 teeth, and 1090 surfaces). The median annual percentage of non-cavitated lesions progressing was 2.6% for sealed and 12.6% for unsealed carious teeth. The summary prevented fraction for RCT was 71.3% (95%CI: 52.8%-82.5, no heterogeneity) up to 5 years after placement. Despite variation among studies in design and conduct, sensitivity analysis found the effect to be consistent in size and direction. Sealing non-cavitated caries in permanent teeth is effective in reducing caries progression.

published proceedings

  • J Dent Res

altmetric score

  • 12

author list (cited authors)

  • Griffin, S. O., Oong, E., Kohn, W., Vidakovic, B., Gooch, B. F., CDC Dental Sealant Systematic Review Work Group, .., ... Zero, D. T.

citation count

  • 230

complete list of authors

  • Griffin, SO||Oong, E||Kohn, W||Vidakovic, B||Gooch, BF||Bader, J||Clarkson, J||Fontana, MR||Meyer, DM||Rozier, RG||Weintraub, JA||Zero, DT

publication date

  • February 2008