Effectiveness of fluoride in preventing caries in adults

S. O. Griffin, E. Regnier, P. M. Griffin, V. Huntley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

220 Scopus citations


To date, no systematic reviews have found fluoride to be effective in preventing dental caries in adults. The objective of this meta-analysis was to examine the effectiveness of self- and professionally applied fluoride and water fluoridation among adults. We used a random-effects model to estimate the effect size of fluoride (absolute difference in annual caries increment or relative risk ratio) for all adults aged 20+ years and for adults aged 40+ years. Twenty studies were included in the final body of evidence. Among studies published after/during 1980, any fluoride (self- and professionally applied or water fluoridation) annually averted 0.29 (95%CI: 0.16-0.42) carious coronal and 0.22 (95%CI: 0.08-0.37) carious root surfaces. The prevented fraction for water fluoridation was 27% (95%CI: 19%-34%). These findings suggest that fluoride prevents caries among adults of all ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-415
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Dentistry


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