Silver diamine fluoride has been in the news recently and Wrigleyville Dental now offers it as an alternative to traditional cavity treatment. Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a topical medicine that comes in a clear liquid form that can be painted onto teeth with cavities to help stop the teeth’s breakdown by acid producing bacteria. This also can help relieve tooth pain and hypersensitivity. SDF has been available and widely used in many countries including China, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and other for many decades. Silver Diamine Fluoride was just cleared for sale in the USA in August 2014 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
How does it work?
SDF is a potent anti-microbial agent used to kill germs that cause cavities. It 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 applied to a tooth with a cavity, active caries lesions become inactive and the risk of future decay is reduced.
What are the benefits of SDF?
- Quick treatment time
- Effective cavity prevention
- May stop tooth decay
- Relieves tooth sensitivity
- Offers a no needle/no drill alternative
- Can help “buy time” for those patients who are very young, fearful, or have special needs that may otherwise require sedation for traditional dental treatment.
There are some risks which include, but are not limited to the following:
- Any decayed areas will stain black permanently. This means SDF is working, Healthy tooth structure will not stain. Tooth-colored fillings and crowns may discolor as well.
- 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.
- Allergic reaction.
In summary, this minimally invasive treatment option for dental caries is a great alternative for our doctors to stop decay, particularly when seeing young children here at Wrigleyville Dental.