Fluoride Action Network


Mild-to-moderately severe enamel fluorosis (EF) is an unsightly maturation-phase dental disorder. Despite extensive epidemiological studies on EF, little is known about individual treatment options. This study was carried out to determine whether a simple microabrasion technique is effective in improving the esthetics of EF. Patients with a variety of severities were treated using a water-cooled fine diamond polishing bur at high speed to remove the surface enamel layers. Photographs of the affected teeth before and after treatment were shown by computer to a panel of three judges (two lay and one experienced), who rated the appearance of the teeth using a newly developed visual analog scale. The severity of EF was rated randomly and blind for 52 individual teeth (26 before and 26 after treatment). Reteated-measures analysis of variance was used to analyze the results. The lay judges rated the appearance of the teeth with EF as significantly more objectionable before treatment. All judges found a significant improvement in the severity of EF after treatment. Using a newly developed visual analog scale, our study indicates that EF of an objectionable nature can be significantly improved with a simple microabrasion technique, thus conserving tooth structure and minimizing the cost of treating EF.