Title: 3273 - Establishing Evidence for Caries Prevention in an Ageing Population


Carly Ross (Presenter)
University of Dundee

Jan Clarkson, University of Dundee
Linda Young, NHS Education for Scotland


Objectives: The UK has an ageing population and over the next two decades the proportion of people aged over 65 years will increase to around 24% of the population. Despite this, current evidence to inform caries prevention in older people is lacking.

NIHR have commissioned the REFLECT clinical trial to investigate the clinical and cost effectiveness of 5000ppm fluoride toothpaste to prevent and manage dental caries in high risk older adults.

The objective of this project is to inform the design of the REFLECT trial through exploration of national dental prescribing data.

Methods: In England, national dental prescribing data is published by the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre. In Scotland, the authors have access to the Prescribing Information System for Scotland. Dental prescribing of 5000ppm fluoride toothpaste in both sources was explored.

Results: In England between 2013-2014, prescriptions of 5000 ppm fluoride toothpaste increased by 21% to 660,487 items at an annual cost of £13 million; an increase of 32%. Between 2013-2014 in Scotland, prescriptions of 5000ppm fluoride toothpaste increased by 32% and in subsequent years increased by around 6% per annum. Total cost in Scotland exceeds all other dental prescriptions combined. Information about the types of patients who are prescribed fluoride toothpaste is sparse, but Scottish data suggests approximately 50% of 5000ppm fluoride toothpaste prescriptions are issued to adults over 50 years of age.

Conclusions: National dental prescribing data demonstrates high and increasing levels of 5000ppm fluoride toothpaste prescribing by dentists. With little evidence for either its clinical or cost effectiveness this supports the need for this trial. Patient-level data suggests patients aged 50 years and over should be the study population. Without exploration of the data, the target population would have been patients aged over 65 years.

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source:

Disclosure Statement:
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: NONE