Introduction

Introduction

Purpose

Seal America: The Prevention Invention is designed to assist health professionals in launching and sustaining school-based dental sealant programs to help prevent dental caries in children and adolescents. The manual also addresses issues related to referring students with unmet oral health needs to a dental clinic or office. Health professionals working in established school-based dental sealant programs may also find the manual of interest as they work to improve specific aspects of their program.

Individuals who may be interested in starting a school-based dental sealant program include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • State and local oral health program directors
  • School nurses
  • School-based health center staff
  • School administrator and/or school district representatives
  • Community health center staff
  • Other safety net providers
  • Dental schools and dental hygiene program faculty
  • Dentists and dental hygienists

No two school-based dental sealant programs are exactly alike. This manual was written to reflect the needs and circumstances of many school-based dental sealant programs, but it may not address the working or political environments, requirements, or situations facing individual programs. Readers are encouraged to adapt the information contained in the manual to meet their program’s particular needs and circumstances. Throughout the planning process, each program should develop its own manual, which should include forms, procedures, protocols, and evaluation metrics.

School-based dental sealant program staff, directors of health departments and oral health programs, public health professionals, researchers, policymakers, funders, and others working at the national, state, and local levels have shared their expertise to create and update this manual in an effort to increase the effectiveness of the next generation of school-based dental sealant programs. New research, techniques, materials, and federal and state policies will continue to affect school-based dental sealant programs in the future.

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