Mont. Dental Association disputes F sealant grade

The Montana Dental Association (MDA) is disputing a failing grade by a new Pew Center on the States report examining what U.S. states are doing to provide dental sealants to keep costs down and prevent caries, according to an article in the Billings Gazette.

Montana was among five states and the District of Columbia to receive an F grade. Only five states earned an A grade.

MDA Executive Director David Hemion explained that the report's information was dated because of the state Department of Health and Human Services' lack of an oral health program, the article noted. The data contained in the report was from 2005, the most recent year available.

The MDA program Sealants for Smiles was launched in 2012 to help at-risk schoolchildren, screening some 448 children and placing 768 sealants. The same program will run in 2013.

The organization also noted that more than 100 schools, with 71 Indian Health Service schools among them, now have a sealant program planned or have one currently in place.

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