What is Fluoride Varnish?

fluoride varnish

To reduce the risk of tooth caries, sensitivity, and pain and to strengthen the enamel, a coating of transparent topical fluoride is applied by the dentist. It is commonly known as fluoride varnish treatment.

Fluoride Varnish Not Just For Children:

Fluoride varnish treatment is widely used not only for children but also for adult patients with cavities. It can benefit a wide range of patients, which includes kids, to maintain their healthy oral hygiene. As well as adult patients with teeth sensitivity problems, tooth decay, and excessive dental wear and tear.

Caries Development in Adults:

Fluoride Varnish can benefit both children and adult patients. As per recent studies, adults fall into cavity prone group, and they experience a cavity at the rate similar to that of children. Adults in their 40’s and 50’s experience dental problems.

There are various factors which put adults at risk of cavity development, such as

  • Use of medication
  • Cariogenic diet
  • Presence of exposed root surface
  • Restoration overhangs and open margins
  • Chemotherapy or H/N radiation therapy
  • Xerostomia
  • Active caries in the previous 24 months
  • Recession
  • Multisurface restorations
  • Poor oral hygiene

Fluoride Varnish treatment in adults as per risk factors:

Risk assessment of the patient is done by a simple checklist method after which the patients are divided into low, moderate, or high-risk groups.

  • Low risk: No cavity and no factors that may increase the risk of caries. There is not much need for a fluoride varnish treatment as regular toothpaste may be sufficient to prevent caries.
  • Moderate risk: Patients suffering from a mold cavity or the presence of at least one factor which increases the risk of caries. Such patients should receive fluoride varnish at six-month intervals.
  • High risk: Patients suffering from decay and cavities during the last 24 months are considered high risk. Such patients should receive fluoride varnish at three to six-month intervals.

Steps To Apply Fluoride Varnish in Adult Patients:

It is effortless to apply as it does not require any special arrangement or equipment, unlike other dental treatments. Its application takes less than a minute, which is convenient for both patients as well as the dentist.

  • Face the patient to be on the same height
  • Have the patient open the mouth and look slightly downwards.
  • Load the applicator brush and swipe the varnish across all surfaces of the teeth.
  • Once applied the varnish will set quickly
  • Provide the patient with a disposable cup and tissue

Fluoride Varnish treatment: Cost

Fluoride varnish treatment is a win-win for both parties. As this treatment takes less than a minute, it is cheap compared to other treatments. The fees can be as low as $1, but it usually ranges between $15 to $95 depending upon the severity of teeth damage and the products used. On average, a fee of $25 is charged by most dentists, which encourages people to accept treatments and avoid major dental problems in the future.

Advantages and disadvantages:

fluoride varnish

Like every other treatment, Fluoride Varnish has its advantages and disadvantages for adults. The benefits are:

  • Available in different flavors
  • Dries quickly even with saliva
  • Reduces major dental problems
  • Easy application and low cost

The disadvantages of Fluoride varnish are,

  • No insurance cover
  • Poor taste and appearance
  • Costs more than gel and requires a prescription
  • Temporary change in the color of teeth