Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is an antimicrobial liquid that has the unique ability to arrest dental decay (cavities). For our patients who have hypoplastic molars, it can also be used to treat sensitivity associated with those teeth.
Silver Diamine Fluoride is applied to the tooth using a small brush. If the cavity is located in between the teeth, the liquid can be placed on floss and then flossed between the teeth. The liquid is applied to the decayed area for three minutes at two separate appointments at our Tomball dental office. Silver Diamine Fluoride does not always stop the cavity from growing and the tooth may require traditional treatment at a later date. Ideally, even if growth is noted, we utilize SDF to delay treatment until patient can cooperate better.
Silver diamine fluoride can be applied painlessly, without the use of anesthesia or shots! For our younger patients, it allows Dr. Shelton to stop the cavity from growing while giving our patients time to mature enough for a filling. It also allows us to avoid sedation or the need to treat our patients in the operating room.
Silver Diamine Fluoride does not replace lost tooth structure related to the cavity. Because of this, even though the cavity may not continue to grow, it can be an area where food and bacteria can become trapped. In these instances, a restoration is recommended after application of SDF when behavior permits.
If we place SDF on a lesion in the early stages of development, our hope is that the SDF stops the progression of the cavity and that no filling will be required!
Is SDF right for your child?
Benefits of SDF: It is a quick, painless, non-invasive treatment option to arrest dental decay.
Cons of SDF: SDF permanently stains the cavity black (not the entire tooth, only the decayed area which can be covered with an aesthetic restoration when behavior permits). It cannot be used on teeth that are infected or on lesions that are close to the nerve of the tooth. It is contra-indicated in patients who have a silver allergy.
SDF is a great treatment option for our patients who would require sedation for treatment, whether they are very young or extremely anxious. It allows us to stop the cavity from growing while at the same time providing our patients a chance to mature before filling the tooth.
While SDF is not new (it has been used in other parts of the world for more than 100 years!), it is new to the United States. This non-invasive treatment option is not offered at all offices, but it is available at Cypress Pediatric Dentistry. Contact our Tomball, TX pediatric dental office to schedule your child for an SDF consultation.