Duraphat shortage

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Sir, I am writing to express my concerns over the current shortage of Duraphat varnish and inform my colleagues of the information I have obtained.

We are all aware of the Department of Health Delivering better oral health evidence-based guidelines which recommend the application of fluoride varnish twice yearly for all young adults and children and four times yearly for high risk individuals (for example those with special needs, orthodontic appliances and those likely to develop caries). The shortage of Duraphat varnish is therefore of concern to those of us wishing to avoid compromising our prevention regimes.

In respect of this I have contacted Colgate who informed me that the current shortage in supply is due to the unavailability of one of the major ingredients of the varnish and that the company do not expect Duraphat to be available to practitioners until January 2010. Having searched the market I have found an alternative solution, Clinpro White Varnish from 3M ESPE, which contains 50 mg of sodium fluoride per ml. Clinpro White varnish is easy to apply, requires the teeth to be only toothbrush-clean, is moisture and saliva-tolerant and has a pleasant mint taste. Please be aware of the recommended dosage which varies dependent on the patient's age. I hope this information is of use to practitioners.

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