Fluoride varnish is a highly concentrated form of fluoride which is applied to the tooth's surface, by Dr. Esfandiari as a type of topical fluoride therapy. It is not a permanent varnish but due to its adherent nature it is able to stay in contact with the tooth surface for several hours.
It may be applied to the enamel, dentine or cementum of the tooth and can be used to help prevent decay, remineralise the tooth surface and to treat dentine hypersensitivity. Fluoride varnishes are relatively new in the United States, but they have been widely used in western Europe, Canada, and the Scandinavian countries since the 1980s as a caries prevention therapy. They are recognised by the Food and Drug Administration for use as desensitising agents, but, currently, not as an anti-decay agent.
Both Canadian and European studies have reported that fluoride varnish is as effective in preventing tooth decay as professionally applied fluoride gel; however, it is not in widespread use for this purpose.
Fluoride varnish is composed of a high concentration of fluoride as a salt or silane preparation in a fast drying, alcohol and resin based solution.
The concentration, form of fluoride, and dispensing method may vary depending on the manufacturer. While most fluoride varnishes contain 5% sodium fluoride at least one brand of fluoride varnish contains 1% difluorsilane in a polyurethane base.
- Fluoride varnishes are available in different flavours which can be advantageous when treating younger patients
- They do not have the bitter taste of some fluoride gels, but in some patients the taste of the varnish can cause nausea especially when consuming food within the 24 hours post treatment.
- They are easily and quickly applied
- They dry rapidly and will set even in the presence of saliva
- Because they do not require the use of fluoride trays they are suitable for use in patients with a strong gag reflex
- Due to the small amounts used and the rapid setting time there is only a small or negligible amount of fluoride ingested
- Application requires very little equipment and so it can be applied in settings where a dental operatory is not available
- It has a sticky consistency which helps it to adhere to the tooth’s surface thereby allowing the fluoride to stay in contact with the tooth for several hours
- Based on published findings, professionally applied fluoride varnish does not appear to be a risk factor for dental fluorosis, even in children under the age of 6. This is due to the reduction in the amount of fluoride which may potentially be swallowed during the fluoride treatment because of the small quantities used and the adherence of the varnish to the teeth.
Whatever your dental health situation, Thousand Oaks dentist
, Dr. Frank Esfandiari and his staff can help you feel good about smiling.