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Current Concepts in Preventive Dentistry

Course Number: 334

Root Surface Caries on the Rise

Root surface caries has increased due to the increased retention of teeth during adulthood. About one-half of U.S. adults are affected with root surface caries by age 50, with an average of about three lesions by age 70. Fluoride is very effective in preventing root surface caries. A systematic review on root surface caries in the Journal of Dental Research indicated the regular use of a 5,000 ppm fluoride dentifrice and quarterly sodium fluoride varnish treatments by a dental provider resulted in a decrease of root surface caries progression and initiation.

Image showing application of a sodium fluoride varnish

Figure 20. Sodium Fluoride Varnish.

Image courtesy of DECS