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  • Dentists
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Assisting
Hours: 2 Contact Hours
  • Howard E. Strassler, DMD, FADM, FAGD
  • Judith Porter, DDS, MA, EdD
Peer Reviewer(s): Elena Francisco, RDH, RDHAP, MSDH
Item#: L0773
Contents: 1 Course Book (32 pages)
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Preventing Pit and Fissure Caries With Sealants, 2nd Edition

Price $19.95
Item # L0773
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: July 31, 2013

Review Date: August 15, 2016

Expiration Date: August 14, 2019


The connection between pits and fissures and dental caries has long been recognized, but the diagnosis of carious pits and fissures can often be daunting. Even with newer technologies for caries diagnosis, it is still difficult to chart the progression of the disease since microscopic examination of this type of caries yields considerable variation. Recent research has attempted to evaluate differences in caries detection, conditioning, retention, demineralization/remineralization, shear bond strength, and microleakage, as well as caries progression after the placement of pit and fissure sealants. Further understanding of the pathophysiology of tooth decay, advances in materials, and the importance of proper technique will encourage dentists to more fully incorporate the use of pit and fissure sealants into clinical practice.

This basic-level course provides dental professionals with the tools to identify the need for sealants and the type of sealant that is best for the patient and the dentition. The course reviews the pathophysiology of tooth decay, the role of sealants in preventing pit and fissure caries, and the different types of sealants in clinical use. The course focuses attention on the ADA’s clinical recommendations and presents the proper clinical steps to take in treating pit and fissure caries, from assessing the need for sealants to applying them.




AGD Subject Code: 017

Western Schools designates this activity for 2 continuing education credits.


Course Objectives

  • Explain the pathophysiology of tooth decay and the role of sealants in preventing pit and fissure caries.
  • Outline approaches for identifying the dentition surfaces that need to be sealed.
  • List the types of sealants available and the challenges of sealant retention.
  • Identify the clinical techniques used for different types of sealants.


Howard E. Strassler, DMD, FADM, FAGD, is professor and director of operative dentistry at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in the Department of Endodontics, Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry. He has lectured nationally and internationally on techniques and selection of dental materials in clinical use and aesthetic restorative dentistry. He is a Fellow in the Academy of Dental Materials and the Academy of General Dentistry, as well as a member of the American Dental Association, the Academy of Operative Dentistry, and the International Association of Dental Research. Dr. Strassler is on the editorial board of numerous publications and is a consultant and clinical evaluator to more than 15 dental manufacturers. Dr. Strassler has published more than 500 articles in the field of restorative dentistry and innovations in dental practice and has coauthored seven chapters in textbooks. He has presented at more than 425 programs, including most of the major programs throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Dr. Strassler has a general practice in Baltimore, Maryland, that is limited to restorative dentistry and aesthetics.

Judith Porter, DDS, MA, EdD, is assistant dean of admissions and recruitment at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, where she directly oversees the admissions process for the Doctor of Dental Surgery program. Dr. Porter is an operative dentist with a special interest in educational methods within preclinical and clinical dentistry. Before joining the University of Maryland, Dr. Porter was in private practice for 25 years.


Elena Francisco, RDH, RDHAP, MSDH, received her bachelor of science degree in dental hygiene from Loma Linda University and her master’s degree in dental hygiene education from Idaho State University. She is currently an adjunct clinical instructor in dental hygiene at Carrington College in Sacramento, California. Prior to joining the faculty at Carrington College, Ms. Francisco was a clinical instructor in dental hygiene at the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, where she served as a CAMBRA resource for dental hygiene students. A licensed registered dental hygienist and registered dental hygienist in alternative practice, Ms. Francisco has practiced dental hygiene in California for more than 40 years. She has coauthored several journal articles on dental hygienists’ knowledge, attitudes, and practice behaviors regarding caries risk assessment and management. Ms. Francisco has been a member of the statewide Task Force on Oral Health for People with Special Needs and is a cofounding member of the Oral Health Awareness Society and a member of a local task force whose goal is to reduce early childhood caries. She volunteers dental hygiene services to the dentally underserved in California.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.