Silver Diamine Fluoride
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is one of the newest tools we have to help prevent the progression of tooth decay. While it does not cure or fill cavities, it can arrest them - stop them in their tracks. Studies show treatment is successful about 80% of the time.
What are the benefits of SDF treatment?
- Can prevent the progression of existing tooth decay
- Easy to apply
- Does not require removal of any tooth structure
- Does not require local anesthesia (getting numb)
- Doesn’t take a lot of time
- Reasonably high success rate
- Relatively inexpensive
What are the down sides of SDF treatment?
- Turns the decay dark black in color – not good for cosmetically sensitive areas
- Cannot be used for very large cavities that are close to the nerve of the tooth
- Not 100% effective
- Requires multiple applications to boost effectiveness
- May not be covered by dental insurance
When do we use SDF?
- For young children with extensive treatment needs - while we are waiting for behavior to allow treatment and/or for appropriate sedation to be arranged.
- For baby teeth with cavities that we expect will fall out within 8-12 months - in order to help avoid the need to fill or extract them.
- For cavities that are just getting started between permanent and/or baby teeth – in order to stop the decay before it progresses far enough to need a restoration.
Ask us if Silver Diamine Fluoride is right for your child.