Manufacturers of an antibacterial tooth coating have announced that they are going to seek approval for the coating from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The coating, called Prevora, has been previously approved in Europe, the UK, and Canada.
If it is truly as effective as manufacturers claim, it will be a potent tool to help us avoid the need for reconstructive dentistry. Combined with our already minimally invasive holistic approach to dentistry, Prevora could help us protect even high risk patients from cavities.
What Is Prevora?
Prevora is a preventive varnish, similar in principle to the topical fluoride that we commonly apply in our office. However, instead of fluoride, which helps remineralize teeth that have been damaged by bacterial activity, Prevora contains an antibiotic that helps prevent bacteria from growing in the mouth and clinging to the teeth. With less bacteria to secrete acid, the risk of cavities reduces dramatically.
The antibacterial agent in Prevora is chlorhexidine, which is a very strong antiseptic. It’s often recommended for people who have had bad gum disease (periodontitis), and it’s highly effective at dramatically reducing the levels of oral bacteria. In Prevora, it’s bound into the varnish, so it’s released slowly over time, taking perhaps a week to fully exhaust.
The treatment plan for Prevora involves four treatments in four weeks at first, then re-application at six-month intervals as part of the daily checkup.
Is It Effective?
The clinical studies on the effectiveness of chlorhexidine varnishes are mixed. Of course, the manufacturer of Prevora touts some of the most significant results. The website claims that Prevora can result in a 70% reduction in risk for coronal cavities (cavities in the crown of the tooth, i.e. the enamel) in high-risk adults, 58% reduction in overall cavities in high-risk adults, and 41% reduction in root cavity risk for older adults with dry mouth.
However, there is good evidence that overall the effectiveness for most of us is probably slight. In 2012, two trials concluded that a chlorhexidine varnish did not reduce cavities. In one study, researchers think that the effect of typical care (restoring cavities and performing other preventive treatments) may have erased the effect of chlorhexidine. In another study, chlorhexidine simply failed to provide protection to the study population.
Overall, it seems that if Prevora is approved for use, it will likely be recommended only in cases of high cavity risk.
Holistic Dentistry Can Be Effective
Although there are definitely some people who will benefit if Prevora is approved, we are very happy with our current approach to preventive dental care. Our holistic approach uses a comprehensive strategy that includes quality cleanings, preventive care, advanced treatments like ozone therapy, and lifestyle changes to dramatically reduce your cavity risk.
If you would like to learn more about our approach to minimally invasive dentistry in Rochester, NY, please call (585) 244-3337 today for an appointment with one of our dentists at Contemporary Dentistry.