A patient in 50-60 age range with recession requested a fluoride treatment due to gingival recession. I told her that it was a good idea to have a professional fluoride application due to the root surface being more porous then enamel and susceptible to decay. I chose fluoride varnish for the exposed root surfaces. She is a well informed and motivated patient, with excellent oral hygiene and no sensitivity. Considering her history, how often should I apply the fluoride varnish?
Thank you for your question about the frequency of varnish application. You selected the best professional topical fluoride application by using 5% NaF varnish to allow complete coverage for your patient’s exposed root surfaces. As you may know fluoride varnish has FDA approval as a desensitizing agent and shows great caries preventive benefits. According to the most recent ADA report on topical fluorides, 5% NaF varnish should be applied every 3-6 months for patients at an elevated risk of dental caries. Your professional judgment will guide you to determine if applications every 3 or every 6 months will work best for this patient based on her re-care frequency, caries risk status, and symptoms of dentin hypersensitivity.
Weyant RJ, Tracy SL, Anselmo T, Beltrán-Aguilar ED, Donly KJ, Frese WA, Hujoel PP, Iafolla T, Kohn W, Kumar J, Levy SM, Tinanoff N, Wright JT, Zero D, Aravamudhan K, Frantsve-Hawley J, Meyer DM. Topical fluoride for caries prevention: Executive summary of the updated clinical recommendations and supporting systemic review. J Am Dent Assoc. 2013 Nov;144(11):1279-1291.