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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Iowa: Study Finds Dental Fluorosis Generally Less Noticeable Over Time

Results from a University of Iowa study suggest that mild and moderate dental fluorosis is generally less noticeable over time, validating the beliefs of some supporters of community water fluoridation that there have been overestimates of fluorosis prevalence made by anti-fluoridation activists.

The Journal of Dental Research, published the study February 24.

Dr. Steven Levy, the Wright-Bush-Shreves-endowed professor of research in the University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry Department of Preventive & Community Dentistry, and an adjunct in the UI’s department of epidemiology was lead author of the study. The research team included Dr. John J. Warren, professor and director of the UI College of Dentistry’s Dental Public Health graduate program, and Ms. Alexandra Curtis, PhD candidate in biostatistics at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

“Our study supports that fluorosis is less of a concern than some have stated,” says Dr. Levy. “Our data support the continued use of community water fluoridation as the best and most efficient way to prevent dental caries on a population basis. Our results also suggest that many statements, and photographs used, by opponents of community water fluoridation that present data on fluorosis prevalence probably exaggerate the true severity.”

The researchers added that further study is needed. “Additional research is warranted to assess patterns of dental fluorosis as children get older in study samples from other geographical regions and with different levels of fluoride exposures,” they said.

The research was supported by National Institutes of Health grants, the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust and the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation.

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