Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 521–529 | Cite as

Sealing occlusal caries lesions in adults referred for restorative treatment: 2–3 years of follow-up

Original Article


The aim of this study was to assess the possibility to arrest occlusal caries lesions in adults by sealant as well as to assess the presence of radiographic progression, arrest, and regression of the sealed lesions. Seventy-two occlusal caries lesions in 52 adult patients referred to restorative treatment by senior lecturers at School of Dentistry, Copenhagen, Denmark were included. In case the patient had more than one occlusal caries lesion, randomization between sealing and restoration was made; otherwise, the lesion was sealed. In total, 60 resin sealants and 12 composite restorations were made. Follow-up period was 25–38 months (mean = 33 months). Data were analyzed using non-parametric statistics including kappa statistics. After 2–3 years, the dropout rate was 15%; two patients did not show up for control and nine previously sealed lesions were restored by the patients' general practitioners. All 12 restorations and 39 of the remaining 49 sealants were well functioning, seven (14%) sealants were repaired/replaced due to failure, and three (6%) sealed lesions were restored due to caries progression (p > 0.05). The radiographic assessment showed caries progression beneath five (10%) sealants, caries regression beneath one (2%) sealant, and unchanged depth beneath 43 (88%) sealants and all restorations (p > 0.05). The majority of the referred lesions were successfully arrested by sealants, indicating the possibility for extending the criteria for sealing occlusal caries lesions in adults. However, a longer observation period is needed for final conclusion. Extending the criteria of therapeutic sealing of occlusal caries lesions in adults will lead to increased dental health.


Occlusal caries lesion Resin sealant Dentin 



The authors wish to thank Professor Svante Twetman for valuable contribution to this study and The Danish Dental Association for the financial support of the study. Dentsply DeTrey and 3M ESPE in Denmark are gratefully acknowledged for the sponsored material used in this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Azam Bakhshandeh
    • 1
  • Vibeke Qvist
    • 1
  • Kim R. Ekstrand
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cariology and Endodontics, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen NDenmark

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