Real-world effectiveness of national pit and fissure sealants program in Taiwan

Po Yen Lin, Le Yin Hsu, Hsuan Lu Alicia Ko, Perng‐Haur H. Wang, Ping Yi Lin, Lin Yang Chi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study investigated the effectiveness of a national population-based pit and fissure sealants (PFS) program in Taiwan. Methods: Part 1 (effectiveness of national PFS program) involved children who had participated in the PFS program from 2015 to 2019. After propensity score matching, 670,840 children were selected for analysis until the end of 2019. During follow-up, the permanent first molars of the participants were assessed for caries-related treatments by employing multilevel Cox proportional hazards models. In Part 2 (effectiveness of retained sealants), which involved 1,561 children, sealant retention was evaluated 3 years after placement. A structured questionnaire was employed to collect information on family and individual factors. The endpoints were the same as in Part 1. Results: In Part 1, the adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for caries-related treatments among participants in the PFS program were 0.90 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.89, 0.91) for dental restoration, 0.42 (95% CI = 0.38, 0.46) for initiation of endodontic treatment, 0.46 (95% CI = 0.41, 0.52) for completion of endodontic treatment, and 0.25 (95% CI = 0.18, 0.34, all Ps < 0.0001) for extraction. In Part 2, the adjusted HR for dental restoration of teeth with retained sealants was 0.70 (95% CI = 0.58, 0.85), significantly lower than that for teeth without retained sealants (P = 0.0002). Conclusions: Participation in the national PFS program was associated with a significant reduction of at least 10% in the risk of caries-related treatments, and an additional 30% risk reduction may have been attributed to sealant retention. Clinical Significance: In a real-world setting, schoolchildren in the national PFS program were associated with a significant reduction of at least 10% in the likelihood of caries-related treatments. The program provided moderate protection against caries for the study population and could be improved by increasing the sealant retention rate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104587
JournalJournal of Dentistry
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Pit and fissure sealants
  • Primary prevention
  • Schoolchildren
  • Taiwan national health insurance research database


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