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Getting Started

Getting Started

A school-based dental sealant program can be initiated at the state, county, community, or school level. Programs are often spearheaded by state department of health oral health programs, community health centers, school-based health centers, or individuals or small groups who participate in the planning process.

The process of establishing a school-based dental sealant program involves several important steps, including forming a planning committee, conducting a needs assessment, and determining the geographic area, target population, and number of students eligible for the program.

Planning Committee

The first step in establishing a school-based dental sealant program is to form a planning committee. The purpose of this committee is to design the program and to serve as the core of a larger advisory group (see Step 2, Gaining Program Support).
Planning committee members could include

  • A school principal or local board of education official
  • A school nurse, nursing consultant, or health advocate
  • A school-based health center representative
  • A public health official (e.g., state or county department of health oral health program representative, community health center official)
  • An oral health professional (e.g., local dentist or dental hygienist, community oral health clinic provider)
  • A state or local official (e.g., state or local coalition member)