Objective

In 1995 an oral health program commenced in a school in Hammanskraal, South Africa. The program consisted of screening, fissure sealants, scaling and polishing, simple restoration and extractions.

Results

During the 7 years, of the program,  4700 children were screened and 2500 received treatment. 75% of the treatments were preventative and most of these treatments were fissure sealants.

Dental caries in the treatment school was 49.2% in the 6-year-old group, and 43.3% in the control group.

In the control school, caries doubled from 31.9% to 63.2% in the 12 to 15-year-olds. In the treatment group, it increased by only 2% from 24.1 to 26.8%.

The most vulnerable teeth were found to be the mandibular and maxillary molars, the premolars did not require fissure sealants.

The criteria for selection of fissure sealants were first and second molars, within 4 years of eruption, without any enamel softening and a caries-free approximate surface