Silver Diamine Fluoride is an FDA-approved antibiotic liquid clinically applied to control active dental caries and prevent further progression of disease. While the ideal way to treat teeth with decay is by removing the decay and placing a restoration, this alternative treatment allows us to stop decay with noninvasive methods, particularly with our youngest children. Treatment with Silver Diamine Fluoride will not eliminate the need for restorative dentistry to repair function or aesthetics, but has been effective at prevention of further decay.
During your child’s visit, your dentist will brush and rinse their teeth without paste to prepare for the treatment. Your child’s teeth will then be dried and any debris, such as plaque, will be removed. SDF is applied to the affected teeth with a microbrush and the solution is allowed to cure on the tooth for two minutes. Once the tooth has been treated, we advise patients not to eat or drink or at least an hour to allow it to cure. SDF is typically re-applied every 6 months until the teeth can be restored.
What are the benefits?
Silver Diamine Fluoride is a particularly effective fluoride treatment for kids whose cavities cannot otherwise be treated at one time. We may also recommend Silver Diamine Fluoride for children with disabilities or those who are unable to sit for longer cavity treatments. Benefits to this technique:
- Quick treatment time
- Effective cavity prevention
- May stop tooth decay
- Relieves tooth sensitivity
Risks associated with SDF
- Any decayed areas will stain black. Healthy tooth structure will not stain. Stained tooth structures can be replaced with a filling or crown. SDF may discolor dental fillings and crowns.
- If Silver Diamine Flouride is applied to skin or gums, a harmless temporary brown or black stain may appear on the area. The stain will disappear in one to three weeks. It cannot be washed off.
- There is a risk that the procedure will not stop the decay, and no guarantee of success is granted or implied. If the tooth decay is not arrested, the decay will progress
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