Many school dental sealant programs have chosen to use disposable instruments to reduce the initial costs of equipment, sterilization and analysis supplies. The supplies needed by a school dental sealant program depend on the method of applying the dental sealant selected, the decision to use disposable or reusable instruments, and the preferences of program administrators and staff. The cost of buying durable equipment should also be estimated, as well as the annual cost of single-use disposable supplies and products for infection control. A central storage location is needed for programs located in rural areas, and supplies should be kept off the floor on pallets or shelves.
Dental sealants are transparent coatings on the teeth that keep bacteria and food particles away from tooth surfaces. Dentists often apply them to chewing surfaces, as well as the lingual surfaces of the front teeth. Glass ionomers and composite resin fillings are two of the most common types of dental sealants used in preventive dentistry. Supply costs vary between school dental sealant programs because each program works differently, selects different supplies, and uses different purchasing processes.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that there is no evidence that BPA in dental sealants causes health problems. There are four general classifications of dental sealant materials that can be used in school dental sealant programs, and some dental supply companies and distributors may offer discounted products to school dental sealant programs that serve students from low-income families or who are affiliated with local, county, or state entities. Dental insurance plans may also cover part or all of the cost for dental sealants.