Tag Archives: decay

Report: States fail to provide cost-saving dental procedure to children

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo by Penn State via Flickr

Photo by Penn State via Flickr

Dental sealants have been proven to protect children’s teeth from tooth decay.

Yet many states are lagging in efforts to get the quick and cost-effective treatments to poor kids who are often at the highest risk for cavities, according to a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Sealants, which are thin plastic coatings, professionally applied to the chewing surfaces of the first and second permanent molars, are most effective when they are placed soon after the teeth erupt. The procedure costs one-third of the price of filling a cavity, according to Pew. Continue reading