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Community Water Fluoridation Programs: A Health Technology Assessment

Last updated: April 25, 2019
Project Number: HT0022-000
Product Line: Technology Review
Research Type: Device
Result type: Report

Community water fluoridation (CWF) is the controlled addition of fluoride to the public water supply with the aim of preventing cavities (i.e., dental caries) in the population. The practice of CWF has been subject to persistent concerns and controversy, which then influence discussions and decisions around both the adoption and the discontinuation of such programs in Canada and elsewhere. Specifically, there are concerns that CWF is linked to serious adverse health effects in those who drink the fluoridated water. There are signs that the uptake of CWF may be decreasing, as several large Canadian cities have recently stopped fluoridating their municipal water.

CADTH undertook  a Health Technology Assessment to assess the effectiveness, cost considerations, and safety of CWF programs. Ethical issues, implementation considerations, and the potential environmental impact were also assessed.