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Can a filing be done after fluoride is applied?

I just want to make sure a filling or sealant can be done after fluoride is applied. I know it would not be ideal but sometimes they ask me to after fluoride has already been applied. I polish off varnish if that is the fluoride I had applied. Does it make bonding not ideal for those treatments?

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This is an excellent question! There had been controversy in the past about if fluoride would inhibit the etchant’s ability, hence leading to poor sealant retention. However, the literature is now indicating that “fluoride use prior to sealant placement does not affect retention.” I’ve also read that, “the advantages of placing sealants after a topical fluoride application are supported. Also, if a sealant is lost after placement, the tooth underneath will benefit from fluoride compared to an untreated tooth.” (http://www.dimensionsofdentalhygiene.com/print.aspx?id=736) Here’s a link to a study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11314222 I will say though that I once worked for a dentist that wouldn’t have me do fluoride treatments before he placed composites. He told me that it interfered with retention. I don’t know if that is founded by research, I honestly haven’t looked it up (yet), but his office – his rules!

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