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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2013, Article ID 824982, 5 pages
Research Article

Effectiveness of Fluoride Varnish Application as Cariostatic and Desensitizing Agent in Irradiated Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Dental and Prosthetic Surgery, Tata Memorial Hospital, Dr. E Borges Road, Parel, Mumbai 400 012, India

Received 4 March 2013; Revised 30 May 2013; Accepted 3 June 2013

Academic Editor: Camile S. Farah

Copyright © 2013 Kanchan P. Dholam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness of three-month fluoride varnish application on radiation caries and dental sensitivity and to assess compliance to three-month fluoride varnish application. Materials and Methods. 190 irradiated head and neck cancer patients were randomly selected and reviewed retrospectively. Oral prophylaxis, fluoride varnish application, and treatment of dental caries were done prior to radiation therapy. Patients were followed up at every three months for dental evaluation and fluoride varnish application. Decayed-missing-filling-teeth indices, dental sensitivity, and compliance to fluoride varnish application were noted for fifteen months and analyzed statistically. Results. Significant increase in decayed-missing-filling-teeth index was seen at nine , twelve and fifteen months follow-up. However, the rate of increase in decayed-missing-filling-teeth indices was 1.64/month which is less than the rate mentioned in the literature (2.5/month). There was no significant effect of sex and surgery on radiation caries, but site of disease and radiation dose were found to have statistically significant effect. Dental sensitivity decreased from 39% at 3 months to 25% at 15 months followup. 99% compliance to fluoride varnish application was seen till six months followup which decreased to 46% at fifteen months. Conclusion. Three-month fluoride varnish application is effective in decreasing radiation caries and sensitivity and has good compliance.