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J Am Dent Assoc. 2006 Aug;137(8):1151-9.

Professionally applied topical fluoride: evidence-based clinical recommendations.

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American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.



With the dramatic increase in the amount of scientific information available about oral health, an evidence-based approach to oral health care and the practice of dentistry is necessary. There is a need to summarize, critique and disseminate scientific evidence and to translate the evidence into a practical format that is used easily by dentists The evidence-based clinical recommendations in this report were developed by an expert panel established by the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs that evaluated the collective body of scientific evidence on the effectiveness of professionally applied topical fluoride for caries prevention. The recommendations are intended to assist dentists in clinical decision making.


MEDLINE and the Cochrane Library were searched for systematic reviews and clinical studies of professionally applied topical fluoride--including gel, foam and varnish--through October 2005.


Panelists were selected on the basis of their expertise in the relevant subject matter. The recommendations are stratified by age groups and caries risk and indicate that periodic fluoride treatments should be considered for both children and adults who are at moderate or high risk of developing caries. Included in the clinical recommendations is a summary table that can be used as a chairside resource.


The dentist, knowing the patient's health history and vulnerability to oral disease, is in the best position to make treatment decisions in the interest of each patient. These clinical recommendations must be balanced with the practitioner's professional expertise and the individual patient's preferences.

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