Caries Risk and Topical Fluoride
We are always looking for ways to help those of you who seem to be prone to recurrent dental decay in their teeth. The American Dental Association has published a study on the effectiveness of professionally applied topical fluoride.
ADA Study on Fluoride
This study came to the following conclusions:
1. Fluoride gel is effective in preventing caries in school-aged children.
2. Patients whose caries risk is low may not receive additional benefit from professional topical fluoride applications.
3. There are considerable data on caries reduction for professionally applied topical fluoride gel treatments of 4 minutes or more. In contrast, there is laboratory data, but no clinical equivalency data on the effectiveness of 1-minute fluoride gel applications.
4.Fluoride varnish applied every six months is effective in preventing caries in the primary and permanent dentition of children and adolescents.
5. Two or more applications of fluoride varnish per year are effective in preventing caries in high risk populations.
6. Fluoride varnish application take less time, create less patient discomfort and achieve greater patient acceptability than does fluoride gel, especially in preschool children.
7. Four-minute fluoride foam applications, every 6 months, are effective in caries prevention in the primary dentition and newly erupted permanent first molars.
Caries Risk Categories
This study also gave guidelines for classifying patients into caries risk categories.
1. Low risk are those who have had no cavities in the past three years and no other risk factors (ie poor oral hygiene, family history of extensive decay, many old fillings, drug or alchohol abuse, active orthodontic treatment, chemotherapy or radiation treatment, and others).
2. Moderate risk would include those who have one or more risk factors, or have who have had one or two fillings within the past three years.
3. High risk patients are those with multiple risk factors or three or more fillings or cavities within the past three years.
If you fit into the moderate or high risk categories, please ask us what we can do to help you.