Institute for Oral Health

Programs at Work

OHA’s Wisdom Tooth Project® (WTP)

•The Issue: U.S. health care system is woefully unprepared to meet the oral health challenges of a burgeoning population of older adults with special needs, chronic disease complications, and a growing inability to access and pay for dental services.

•Our Work: Since 2009, our Wisdom Tooth Project® has implemented Five Strategies to combat some of the barriers that aging Americans face with regard to receiving the oral care they need.

 

School-Based Sealant Programs

School-based dental sealant delivery programs (SSPs) are an evidence-based public health strategy for preventing tooth decay among school-aged children, particularly those at highest risk.

Dental sealants are protective coatings generally applied to children’s permanent teeth that have been shown to reduce tooth decay by 60 percent across the lifespan.
Applied effectively, sealants prevent tooth decay and also stop cavities from progressing.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends the establishment of SSPs, citing evidence that programs can “increase the number of children who receive sealants and that dental sealants result in a large reduction in tooth decay among school-aged children (5 to 16 years of age).”