Comparison of three fluorosis indices in a Namibian community with twice optimum fluoride in the drinking water

29 April 2016

In Otjiwarongo, a town in Namibia with twice the optimum fluoride in the drinking water (1.56 ppm) the Dean (Dean, Arnold and Elvove, 1942), Thylstrup and Fejerskov (Thylstrup and Fejerskov, 1978) and TSIF (Horowitz et al, 1984) indices of fluorosis were compared in permanent teeth of the children aged 11 y living in the region. Fluorosis severety was skewed in all instances to lower scores within each index. With the Thylstrup and Fejerskov and TSIF indices it was possible to compare fluorosis by individual teeth; the former was significantly more sensitive in diagnosis (56 per cent vs 50 per cent prevalence). It is recommended that the aims of a fluorosis investigation be carefully detailed before selecting the fluorosis index to be used. If detailed information on individual teeth related to fluoride ingestion is needed the Thylstrup and Fejerskov index is recommended, especially in areas with raised fluoride intakes where it is anticipated that the fluorosis levels will be mainly in the low levels of severity