Home Dental Radiology Measuring sealant placement in children at the dental practice level

Measuring sealant placement in children at the dental practice level

by adminjay



Although sealants are an established and recommended caries-preventive treatment, many children still fail to receive them. In addition, research has shown that existing measures underestimate care by overlooking the sealable potential of teeth before evaluating care. To address this, the authors designed and evaluated 3 novel dental electronic health record–based clinical quality measures that evaluate sealant care only after assessing the sealable potential of teeth.


Measure I recorded the proportion of patients with sealable teeth who received sealants. Measure II recorded the proportion of patients who had at least 1 of their sealable teeth sealed. Measure III recorded the proportion of patients who received sealant on all of their sealable teeth.


On average, 48.1% of 6- through 9-year-old children received 1 or more sealants compared with 32.4% of 10- through 14-year-olds (measure I). The average measure score decreased for patients who received sealants for at least 1 of their sealable teeth (measure II) (43.2% for 6- through 9-year-olds and 28.4% for 10- through 14-year-olds). Fewer children received sealants on all eligible teeth (measure III) (35.5% of 6- through 9-year-olds and 21% of 10- through 14-year-olds received sealant on all eligible teeth). Among the 48.5% who were at elevated caries risk, the sealant rates were higher across all 3 measures.


A valid and actionable practice-based sealant electronic measure that evaluates sealant treatment among the eligible population, both at the patient level and the tooth level, has been developed.

Practical Implications

The measure developed in this work provides practices with patient-centered and actionable sealant quality measures that aim to improve oral health outcomes.

Key Words

Abbreviation Key:

CDT (Current Dental Terminology), DQA (Dental Quality Alliance), EHR (Electronic health record), E-measure (Electronic measure), OHA (Oregon Health Authority), PRR (Preventive resin restoration), SQL (Structured Query Language)

Caries is one of the most preventable chronic diseases among school-aged children in the United States.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Children’s oral health.