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Adv Dent Res. 1994 Jul;8(2):190-201.

Professional topical fluoride applications--clinical efficacy and mechanism of action.

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Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Oslo, Norway.


All currently used topical fluoride agents deposit soluble fluoride as calcium fluoride on enamel or in lesions. Calcium fluoride serves as a source of fluoride for the formation of fluorapatite. The latter phase is formed when pH drops in plaque, not during topical application. The potential for calcium fluoride formation should probably be increased in topical fluoride agents. In countries with low caries prevalence, the clinical recommendations for topical fluoride need to be reconsidered. Toothpaste is the basic fluoride regimen recommended for everybody. The need for additional fluoride supplementation depends on caries activity. There is no distinct difference in the caries-preventive effects of concentrated fluoride solutions, gels, or varnishes. Thus, the choice of method depends on costs, convenience, patient acceptance, and safety. The use of fluoride varnishes has proven to be a feasible and safe method of fluoride application. With fluoride varnishes, the amounts of fluoride exposure can be better controlled, and less chair-time is required compared with conventional solutions and gels. No dose-response effect to concentrated fluoride agents is apparent, and the benefit of frequent application is not clearly established. In individuals with the most severe cariogenic challenge, combinations of fluoride and antimicrobials may give better clinical effects than fluoride alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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