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Caries Res. 2005 Jul-Aug;39(4):273-9.

Effect of school-based fluoride varnish programmes on approximal caries in adolescents from different caries risk areas.

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Department of Preventive Dental Care, Vastra Gotaland Region, Goteborg, Sweden.


The aim was to evaluate, in a 3-year RCT study, school-based fluoride varnish programme on approximal caries incidence and approximal caries progression in 13- to 16-year-olds in high, medium and low caries risk areas on the Swedish west coast. Seven hundred and fifty-eight (89%) fulfilled the trial. Using a simple mobile unit, 2 dental nurses treated the adolescents with F varnish: (1) twice a year at 6-month intervals, (2) 3 times a year within 1 week, (3) 8 times per year during the semesters with 1-month intervals, and (4) no treatment (control). Radiographic caries recording was performed blindly by one of the authors. Concerning total approximal caries incidence, control groups in all areas developed more caries than F varnish groups, with the largest difference in the high risk area: 3.05 +/- 3.37 new approximal caries lesions (mean +/- SD) compared to 0.54 +/- 1.26 for group 3, 0.95 +/- 1.67 for group 1 and 1.40 +/- 1.89 for group 2 (p < 0.001). More than 90% of the new approximal lesions in all the groups and in all areas consisted of new enamel lesions. Regarding progression of enamel lesions, there were only significant differences between groups 1-3 and group 4 in the high caries risk area. Prevented fraction for fluoride varnish treatment twice a year at 6-month intervals was 69% in high, 66% in medium and 20% in low risk areas. To conclude, school-based F varnish treatment every 6 months in 13- to 16-year-olds is excellent to prevent approximal caries in medium and high caries risk areas.

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