In a dental office, the dentist and dental hygienists work together in clinical patient treatment. Technology has given dentistry another treatment modality for the dental hygienist to use during therapy to maintain and protect oral health, adult in-office fluoride varnish therapy.
Q: What happens at my maintenance visit with the dental hygienist?
A: Your health history is reviewed. You have an examination of your teeth and gums. An oral cancer screening is performed. Your oral hygiene home care is evaluated. You get your teeth professionally cleaned and polished (removes plaque, tartar and stains). X-rays are taken if needed; Teeth are treated with Fluoride compounds. Any tooth sensitivity is addressed. Oral hygiene techniques (brushing, flossing, and the use of other inter-dental cleaners) are reviewed. This is your chance to address questions and concerns.
Q: My children receive full mouth fluoride varnish treatments twice a year at their cleaning appointments, I always get fluoride rinses, what could varnish do for me?
A: These 5% Sodium Fluoride varnishes provide instant tooth surface protection. Three areas where varnish treatments impact the adult dentition are to reduce the occurrence of dental decay, relieving existing thermal sensitivity and protecting against destruction from acid erosion.
Fluoride varnish is brushed onto all tooth surfaces in a single application. The white or clear flavored varnish is dispensed from a prepackaged unit dose pack. There is immediate fluoride uptake into teeth and remains for a number of hours releasing fluoride ions to the most needed areas of the tooth (between the teeth and root surfaces). No eating, drinking or smoking for 30 minutes following the treatment for increased topical affect. The therapy is repeated at six month intervals.
Q: Which adults patients would benefit from twice a year fluoride treatments?
A: Here is a partial list for patients with:
- High decay incidence
- Dry mouth syndrome
- Radiation therapy
- Fixed crowns and bridges
- Active braces or bonded brackets
- Poor oral hygiene
- Sensitive teeth
- Tooth erosion
- Acid reflux
- Eating disorders
- High sugar/acid dietary habits
Q: How do you treat tooth erosion?
A: Early demineralization can be reversed with dental office and home application of prescription fluoride and calcium phosphate gels and varnishes.
Once tooth enamel is destroyed, the only treatment is the placement of a restoration at the dentist.
Our graying population has different dental needs than in their youth.
The additional twice a year treatment with topical fluoride varnish at cleanings, aids in limiting the acid effect from dental plaque on tooth enamel helping to prevent tooth decay, sensitivity and erosion.
Utilize modern dental technologies for maximum prevention and limit destruction with early treatment.