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Fluoride supplements get EBD look

The ADA hosted an expert panel on fluoride supplements July 16-18 at ADA Headquarters to develop evidence-based recommendations on the prescription of fluoride supplements.

For three days, the panel and ADA staff analyzed the collective data in selected systematic reviews and discussed recent clinical studies to aid them in developing the recommendations.

Among the clinical questions the group tackled: Does the use of fluoride supplements prevent dental caries and does the use of fluoride supplements increase the risk of dental fluorosis in the absence of other identifiable causes in children under 16?

The event was chaired by Dr. Amid Ismail of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and included panelists Dr. Steven Adair, School of Dentistry, Medical College of Georgia, and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry; Dr. Frank Graham, ADA Council on Dental Practice; Dr. Albert Kingman, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research; Dr. William Kohn, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; David Krol, M.D., University of Toledo College of Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics; Dr. Steven Levy, University of Iowa College of Dentistry and American Association of Public Health Dentistry; Dr. Timothy Iafolla, NIDCR; Dr. Howard Pollick, University of California at San Francisco, School of Dentistry and ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations; Dr. R. Gary Rozier, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry; and Dr. Gary Whitford, School of Dentistry, MCG.

The panel hopes to have evidence-based recommendations on fluoride supplements ready to present to the Council on Scientific Affairs by the first quarter of 2009.

"The ADA Fluoride Supplement Guidelines were last updated in 1994," Dr. Ismail said. "The panel reviewed recent evidence and proposed changes to ensure that fluoride supplements provide the maximum benefits in caries reduction with minimal risk of developing dental fluorosis."

The clinical recommendations are developed under the sponsorship of the CSA and Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry and are tools that can be used by practitioners in making evidence-based treatment decisions in conjunction with clinical judgment and patients' needs and preferences.

For more information about EBD, visit www.ada.org/goto/ebd.