Many adults are reluctant to have fluoride treatments in the dental office for various reasons. Cost, lack of information, confusion, embarrassment, social media perception or perceived need for treatment (I’m not a child, why do I need fluoride?) all influence an adult’s decision to have a fluoride treatment.
Benefits Of Fluoride:
- Helps reduce sensitivity – the patient can enjoy food/drinks without worrying about discomfort.
- Provides non-systemic protection when applied topically
- Helps restore mineralisation without drastic changes in daily habits and provides longer-lasting protection of the tooth surface.
Fluoride is recommended to help strengthen teeth by bonding with natural tooth minerals. We know that tooth decay is a disease of the tooth structure (enamel, dentin and cementum). The demineralisation of these components caused by dental biofilm (plaque) and acid build-up (everyday food and drink) leads to cavitation decay or ‘cavities’. Fluoride binds to natural teeth, resulting in stronger teeth that are more resistant to tooth decay, both systemically (on growing teeth) and topically (when applied directly to exposed tooth surfaces).
Deliver More Information
But this information alone is not enough to give patients. It is necessary to explain to adult patients the benefits of fluoride versus the specificities of fluoride or “what’s in it for them?”. Providing patients with this information will help them to understand the benefits of the recommended treatment.
Caries Control And Prevention
Fluoride provides the most effective method of caries control and prevention. Many years of research and clinical experience have shown that patients benefit from the professional application of topical fluoride. As dental professionals, we have a duty to recommend fluoride products to our patients and to help our adult patients understand that they too are susceptible to tooth decay. We usually associate fluoride use with children, but they are not the only ones who can suffer from poor oral hygiene, lack of dental care and poor eating habits. Like children, adults may also frequently consume sugary/sour drinks and snacks. Other things that can increase the risk of tooth decay in adults are recession, which makes root surfaces vulnerable to decay, multiple surface restorations, lack of regular dental visits, xerostomia or “dry mouth”, which can be a side effect of common medications such as blood pressure or psychiatric medications and radiotherapy.
Fluoride recommendations are most effective if the patient understands the benefits. Empowering the patient to make decisions, rather than just educating them, will help overcome any patient communication problems and lead to better patient outcomes.
As the age of the population increases, so does the risk of tooth decay. By assessing adult patients individually and discussing their current health status or habits, ideal smile dentistry will certainly help them to be involved in decisions about their oral health.
Adult Patient’s Involvement
Involving adult patients in their own health can increase acceptance of a treatment plan if they understand why fluoride treatment is recommended and its associated benefits.
Ideal Smile Dentistry is fully aware if the problems faced by adults and is ready to treat them well using the most advanced techniques. Call us now to book an appointment with any further delay.