Dental sealants in adolescent’s teeth have increased from the early 1970s until the latest (1999-2004) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. In spite of this improvement, significant disparities remain in some population groups.
Table 1 presents sealant prevalence for adolescents aged 12–19 years and for selected subgroups.
Prevalence (Table 1)
- 38% of adolescents 12 to 19 have dental sealants.
- Older adolescents, Black and Hispanic adolescents, and those living in families with lower incomes have fewer sealants.
Table 1: Adolescents, Percent with Sealants in Permanent Teeth
|Characteristic||Percent of adolescents with dental sealants|
|12 to 15 years||41.04|
|16 to 19 years||34.28|
|Race and Ethnicity|
|Poverty Status (Income compared to Federal Poverty Level)||
|Less than 100%||28.76|
|100% to 199%||30.64|
|Greater than 200%||45.45|
Data Source: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) has been an important source of information on oral health and dental care in the United States since the early 1970s. Tables 1 through 4 present the latest NHANES (collected between 1999 and 2004) data regarding dental sealants in adolescents.