Aim: To compare the retention of fissure sealants (FS) placed on occlusal surfaces following use of a self etching priming agent and traditional acid etch and to compare the caries incidence of occlusal surfaces sealed using the two techniques over 12 months.
Study design: A randomised controlled trial set in Community Dental Service and Dental Hospital clinics (UK).
Materials and methods: Subjects (60) were recruited by 7 dental professionals who placed FS on mandibular permanent molar pairs. The technique used for enamel preparation prior to FS placement on the right and left side of the mandible was randomised. On one side of the mandible Xeno III (Dentsply, Germany) was used to prepare the occlusal enamel and on the other side phosphoric acid etch together with Prime and Bond (Dentsply, Germany) was used. Opaque Delton (Dentsply, USA) was used to seal all surfaces. Subjects were blinded to the techniques used. Subjects and operators recorded on individual questionnaires their impressions of the techniques used.
Statistics: Results were analysed using the SPSS statistics package.
Results: Thirty eight (63%) subjects were seen for review by the principal researcher 12 months after FS placement. The retention was significantly better in the etch group (P=0.003). No statistically significant difference in caries incidence was found between the test and control groups at 12 months.
Conclusions: The best practice for placement of sealants remains enamel preparation with acid etch and use of an intermediate bonding layer.