Australian National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Evidence Evaluation 2016

The purpose of this definitive review (1) was to update the Australian NHMRC’s 2007 systematic review.  Click here to view the NHMRC’s draft information paper on the review.  The Evidence Evaluation considered the 2015 Cochrane Review, but also 25 additional studies from 2006 to 2015 that were excluded by Cochrane but considered relevant to Australia.

On the dental benefits of water fluoridation, the main findings were that:

  • all of the studies in previous reviews and in the 2016 NHMRC Evidence Evaluation found that water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by 26-44% in children, teenagers and adults

  • a small number of published and unpublished studies in Australia and the UK suggest that the rate of hospital admissions for dental treatment is lower in areas with water fluoridation

1.Jack, B., Ayson, M., Lewis, S., Irving, A., Agresta, B., Ko, H., Stoklosa, A. 2016, Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: Evidence Evaluation Report, report to the National Health and Medical Research Council, Canberra.  Available at https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/your_health/fluoridation/20160824_evidence_report_final_1.pdf

KEY FINDING

Water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by 26-44% in children, teenagers and adults