Caries stabilization involves using fluoride-releasing glass ionomer for interim therapeutic restorations (ITRs), resin and glass ionomer sealants to protect pit and fissures on primary molars, and regular recharging of ITRs and sealants through fluoride varnish applications, and twice daily use of fluoride toothpaste at home.
Caries stabilization can increase our treatment options for babies and young children. It can also make restoration of Early Childhood Caries (ECC) a positive experience for young patients and their parents.
We know that over 50% of AI/AN children, ages 2-5, experience dental caries, and according to the 2000 Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General, up to 90% of all dental caries in children's teeth occur in pit and fissures. With this information, it just make sense that IHS dental providers should routinely be placing sealants on primary molars. If good moisture control and isolation can be maintained, then traditional resin-based sealant material is the ideal choice. However, if we know that moisture control and isolation will be a problem due to behavior or another reason, then a glass ionomer sealant material is a good alternative. Glass ionomer sealants are advocated by the IHS Division of Oral Health when circumstances do not permit optimum isolation specifically partially erupted teeth and pre-cooperative patients.