AADR/CADR Annual Meeting 2014: Water Fluoridation: Safety, Effectiveness and Value in Oral Health Care
Dr. John O’Keefe interviewed Dr. Stephen H. Abrams, about the significance of bringing the issue of water fluoridation to the general practitioner’s attention in order to start an informed dentist-patient and community-wide conversation.
Community water fluoridation (CWF) and other fluoride modalities historically have been and remain the cornerstone for the prevention and control of dental caries. There is extensive evidence on the efficacy and cost‐effectiveness of these interventions as well as assessments of the risks associated with fluoride ingestion.
In 2006 the National Research Council identified severe fluorosis as the only documented health effect of fluoride at 2 – 4 mg/L in drinking water. Concentrations recommended for CWF and current dosage schedules for other modalities ensure safety. Systematic reviews on fluorides have identified gaps in knowledge or the need to replicate some of the previous studies under current widespread use of fluorides.
The objective of this symposium is to review evidence of effectiveness and safety, identify research gaps and consider implications for optimizing use of fluoride in public health and clinical practice.
Interview Key Messages
- It is important to bring research and knowledge about water fluoridation, its safety and effectiveness to the general dentists so they can talk to their patients as experts about the issue.
- It is also important to provide dentists with the required knowledge to speak to politicians about this issue: is water fluoridation safe? Does it work? and why should we keep fluoridating water?
- The goal of the symposium is to start an expert conversation about water fluoridation and to expose the core issues presented by the anti-fluoridation groups in an effort to understand the validity of their claims and identify what we need to be looking at as researchers and clinicians in order to ensure that patients are getting optimal oral health.
- It is important to develop a toolkit to help the provinces and their members discuss water fluoridation in a clear and simple way with their patients and with the broader community.
- Dentists need to become well versed in the issue of water fluoridation as it is becoming a political topic.
Listen to the audio interview
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Click here for the symposium program (PDF)