Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF): a breakthrough new treatment for hypersensitivity, tooth decay and cavities.
What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?
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 new alternative treatment allows us to stop decay with noninvasive methods, particularly with young children that have baby teeth. This is often a safe and cost saving treatment that can help your child avoid injections and surgeries requiring sedation to fix cavities.
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.
What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?
Silver Diamine Fluoride is composed of two primary components: silver and fluoride. Silver acts as an anti-microbial agent that simultaneously strengthens the underlying protective layer of your teeth called dentin. Fluoride is the active ingredient that puts a stop to tooth decay and helps prevent additional decay from appearing.
When is Silver Diamine Fluoride recommended?
There are several situations in which it may be recommended. Those include, but are not limited to the following:
- Children who may have excessive decay (severe early childhood caries)
- Young children who have difficulty cooperating for treatment
- Special needs patients
- Children with carious lesions that may not all be treated in one visit
- Elderly patients
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
- Help arrest tooth decay
- Relieves tooth sensitivity
Are there risks associated with Silver Diamine Fluoride?
There are some risks associated with it, which include, but are not limited to the following:
- 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 white stain may appear on the area. The stain will disappear in one to three weeks. It cannot be washed off.
- The patient may notice a metallic taste after an application. This will go away rapidly.
- Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure the success of the treatment. 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. In that case the tooth will require further dental treatment such as further Silver Diamine Fluoride application, dental fillings, root canal therapy, or extraction.
These side effects may not include all of the possible situations reported by the manufacturer. If you notice other effects, please contact Rock Valley Dental
What are the alternatives?
Some alternatives include, but are not limited to:
- No treatment, which may lead to an increase in symptom severity as well as a worsening of the tooth structures and cosmetic appearance.
- Depending on the extent and location of the tooth decay, other options may include placement of fluoride varnish, a filling, crown, extraction or referral for advanced treatment modalities such as a surgery center and general anesthesia.
Silver Diamine Fluoride is a safe, effective children’s fluoride treatment that can help your child maintain a healthy smile for life. Contact us today to learn more about this great new option to prevent decay in your or your child’s mouth.