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OHA Statewide School Dental Sealant Program
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School dental sealant programs are an evidence-based practice recommended by the Association of State and Territorial Dental DirectorsCenters for Disease Control and Prevention and Healthy People 2020 based on strong evidence of effectiveness in preventing tooth decay among children.

The Oregon Oral Health Coalition (OrOHC), Oral Health Funders Collaborative, and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) are working towards expanding school dental sealant programs to serve more children, as outlined as a key recommendation in the Strategic Plan for Oral Health in Oregon: 2014-2020. School sealant programs effectively reach children from low-income families who are less likely to receive care at a dental office.

Dental Sealants

A dental sealant is a liquid coating applied to the chewing surfaces of molar teeth for the purpose of preventing tooth decay. Most decay (90%) occurs in the molars, and school-based dental sealant programs can reduce tooth decay by half.

Eligibility

  • A school is eligible if at least 40% of the students are eligible for the federal Free-and-Reduced Lunch (FRL) Program (beginning in the 2015-16 school year).
  • Students are eligible if they have parental permission.

The OHA School Dental Sealant Program serves 1st and 2nd graders or 1st to 5th graders in very small elementary schools, as well as 6th and 7th graders in middle schools. Sealant services are offered to all students in the targeted grades, regardless of insurance status, race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. The dental team brings portable equipment to the school, screens the participating children, and applies dental sealants when appropriate. The screening takes about one minute per child or 15-20 minutes per class. For sealant placement, each child comes in one at a time for 15-30 minutes. The finished child retrieves the next child, so there is very little disruption of class time.

In 2015, Oregon was acknowledged by the PEW Center on the States as one of three states - Maine, New Hampshire, and Oregon - who received the maximum possible points for school dental sealant programs.

For more information about the OHA School Dental Sealant Program, please download a program brochure (pdf).

2014-15

Oregon Data

  • 458 elementary schools were eligible for school dental sealant programs (50% FRL).
  • 359 schools participated (78% of the eligible schools).

OHA Statewide School Dental Sealant Program

  • 144 eligible schools participated in the state school dental sealant program.
  • 6,600 children were screened.
  • 4,721 children received dental sealants.
  • 15,108 sealants were provided.
  • 29% of the children screened were referred for needed restorative care.

Local School Dental Sealant Programs (data submission was voluntary)

  • 215 eligible schools participated in local school sealant programs.

2015-16

In 2015-16, elementary and middle schools were eligible if at least 40% of the students were eligible for the national FRL program.

Oregon Data
  • 715 elementary, elementary/middle, or middle schools were eligible for school dental sealant programs (Note: Some schools house both elementary and middle school grades. Data, therefore, is now reported by eligible grades served, rather than schools served.)
  • 462 eligible elementary grades were served (88% of the eligible elementary grades).
  • 132 eligible middle schools grades were served (47% of eligible middle school grades).
OHA Statewide School Dental Sealant Program
  • 66 OHA-served schools were transitioned to local programs.
  • 83 eligible schools participated in the OHA dental sealant program.
  • 3,484 children were screened.
  • 2,507 children received dental sealants.
  • 8,267 sealants were provided.
  • 32% of the children screened were referred for needed restorative care.
Local School Dental Sealant Programs (data submission was voluntary)
  • 485 eligible schools participated in local school sealant programs.

*From 2008 to 2016, 103 OHA-served schools have been transitioned to local programs.

2016-2017

For the 2016-2017 school year, all school dental sealant programs must be certified, according to Senate Bill 660. The rules regarding SB 660 are here. All certified programs are required to submit data at the end of the school year.

To Participate

The program requires a 10' x 14' space for 1 to 11 days, depending on the size of the school. To participate, please contact the Oral Health Program at oral.health@state.or.us or call 971-673-0339. Eligible schools will be served as funding becomes available.

Forms

Parent permission forms are mailed to participating schools in mid-August. If additional forms are needed, please download and copy the language needed.

The Parent Permission Forms and Parent Fact Sheets are printed double-sided (e.g. English/Spanish, English/Arabic). The parent permission forms are stapled on top of the parent fact sheets distributed to parents. The Teacher Information Sheet is for teachers whose classrooms will be involved.