Now Offering Silver Diamine Fluoride!

What is Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)?

Silver Diamine Fluoride is an FDA-approved antibiotic liquid clinically applied to control active dental decay and prevent further progression of disease.

Does SDF replace dental treatment?

The ideal way to treat teeth with decay is to remove the decay and place a restoration, such as a filling or a crown. SDF does not replace dental treatment. Instead, it provides a non-invasive way to stop the decay from progressing so that the need for immediate treatment may be postponed.

How does SDF work?

Silver Diamine Fluoride is composed of two primary components: silver and fluoride. Silver acts as a natural antimicrobial 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.

How is SDF applied?

During your child’s check-up, the dentist will brush and rinse the teeth to remove debris. The teeth are then dried, and the SDF liquid is applied with a small brush. It is advised not to eat or drink for at least an hour after treatment to allow maximum absorption.

When is Silver Diamine Fluoride recommended?

Every child’s needs are different, and not all cavities can be treated with SDF. Some eligible candidates include, but are not limited to:

  • Children with severe early childhood caries
  • Young children who cannot cooperate for dental treatment
  • Special needs patients
  • Patients with multiple cavities that may not all be treated in one visit

What are the benefits?

Silver Diamine Fluoride is a particularly effective fluoride treatment for kids whose cavities cannot otherwise be treated at one time. Benefits to this technique include:

  • Non-invasive
  • Painless
  • Quick treatment time
  • Effective cavity prevention
  • May stop tooth decay
  • Relieves tooth sensitivity

What are the risks associated with Silver Diamine Fluoride?

There are some mild risks associated with SDF, which include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Decayed areas will be stained black. Healthy tooth structure will not stain. Dental fillings and crowns may also become stained. Eventually, stained tooth structures can be replaced with a filling or a crown.
  • If SDF comes in contact with soft tissues such as the lips, gums, or cheeks, the affected area may become stained. The stain is harmless and will disappear within 1-3 weeks. It cannot be washed off.
  • The patient may notice a metallic taste after an application. This will go away quickly.
  • 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 stopped, 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 your Children’s Dental Centre of Irving immediately.

You should not be treated with Silver Diamine Fluoride if:

  • You are allergic to silver
  • Painful sores or raw areas are present on the gums or anywhere in the mouth.

What are the alternatives?

Some alternatives include, but are not limited to:

  • No treatment, which may lead to an increase in sensitivity and/or discomfort 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 with a specialist.

Silver Diamine Fluoride is a safe, effective children’s fluoride treatment that can help your child maintain a healthy smile for life.