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Current Concepts in Preventive Dentistry

Course Number: 334

Professional Fluoride Treatment

No matter which professional fluoride is used, note that a professional prophylaxis is not needed prior to the application of professional topical fluoride products, because fluoride uptake and caries inhibition are not improved by a prophylaxis. However, if plaque biofilm is prevalent, it is prudent to remove it first before a professional application of fluoride. Also, the use of a fluoride prophylaxis paste at their recall appointment does not replace a professionally applied fluoride application. Moreover, the patient with a high caries risk should not only receive topical fluoride treatment on a quarterly basis but will require a prescription for a 5,000 ppm toothpaste to use at home daily. Based on a recent clinical examination, if a patient is diagnosed as a low caries risk, then a topical fluoride treatment is not necessary. There is little fluoride deposition lasting more than 24 hours when fluoride is applied to sound, fully-maturated enamel. Therefore, there appears to be no preventive benefits from the application of fluoride to adult patients with sound enamel.