Comparative uptake of fluoride ion into enamel from various topical fluoridesin vitro

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There are many forms of topical fluoride available today, making the decision as to which is most effective to manage the immediate caries risk problem at hand, very difficult. The objective of this project was to determine the concentration and pattern of fluoride ion uptake into enamel from a variety of categories of topical fluoride recently available in Australia.


Extracted, intact molar teeth were sectioned to provide six plates of smooth surface enamel. Windows of enamel 2 x 6mm were exposed to a variety of topical fluorides for periods simulating those used in vivo. Following drying, the slates of enamel were exposed to 2ml of 0.1M HCl as a chemical biopsy agent for incremental periods of time. The concentrations of fluoride ion in the biopsy solutions for both test and background (control) slates of enamel were determined directly using a fluoride combination selective electrode in conjunction with a high impedance pH meter. Cumulative amounts of fluoride were determined for each topical fluoride agent.


The concentrations of fluoride ion taken up into enamel were generally proportional to those present in each agent. However, those from APF gel greatly exceeded the amounts taken up from NaF gel. Also, the concentrations taken up from some of the highly concentrated metal fluorides were surprisingly low. Prior etching of enamel increased uptake and prolonged application of APF gel provided no extra benefit.


Some topical fluorides, e.g., APF gel, provided a greatly increased uptake and to a greater depth than other self-application products. However, the frequency of its use should be considered with caution where patients have glassbased restorations.

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