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Silver Diamine Fluoride: A Revolutionary Dental Treatment

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF), a groundbreaking dental treatment that is changing the way we approach oral health. If you’re seeking a minimally invasive, cost-effective, and efficient solution for various dental issues, you’ve come to the right place.

What is Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)?

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a liquid that is an antimicrobial. The fluoride helps the tooth resist losing its minerals, which lowers the chances of getting tooth decay.

How Does SDF Work?

The procedure itself takes only a couple minutes SDF is a liquid that is painted on the tooth and rinsed off. 

SDF works in two significant ways:

  • Halting Decay: When applied to a cavity, SDF arrests the progression of dental caries by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria. This prevents the cavity from getting larger.
  • Desensitizing Teeth: SDF is effective in treating tooth sensitivity by sealing exposed dentin tubules, reducing discomfort caused by hot or cold stimuli.

How long does it last?

SDF is mainly used a interim procedure in children until they can get a final restoration placed. However, research has shown SDF alone to be effective if reapplied every 6 months.

What’s the cost?

SDF is a very cost effective way to stop the progression of decay. At our office it starts at $35 and goes up, depending on the number of teeth and location of the decay.

Benefits of Silver Diamine Fluoride

  • Non-Invasive: SDF is a non-invasive treatment option, making it an ideal choice for patients who may be anxious about dental procedures or have difficulty tolerating traditional treatments.
  • Cost-Effective: Compared to more complex restorative procedures, SDF is a budget-friendly solution that can save you money in the long run.
  • Quick Application: The application of SDF is a quick process, usually taking only a few minutes per tooth.
  • Suitable for All Ages: SDF can be used on patients of all ages, from young children to seniors, making it a versatile treatment option for the entire family.

Common Uses of SDF

SDF has gained popularity in dentistry for its versatility in treating various dental issues:

  • Caries Arrest: SDF is highly effective in stopping the progression of dental cavities, particularly in young children who may have difficulty cooperating during traditional restorative procedures.
  • Dentin Hypersensitivity: SDF is used to alleviate tooth sensitivity by sealing dentin tubules, providing relief from discomfort caused by hot or cold beverages.
  • Preventive Treatment: SDF can be applied to at-risk teeth to prevent the development of new cavities, making it a valuable tool in preventive dentistry.
  • Geriatric Dentistry: SDF is a game-changer in geriatric dentistry, offering a less invasive option for elderly patients who may have multiple oral health concerns.

Is Silver Diamine Fluoride Safe?

Yes! It has been used in several other countries such as Japan, China, and Brazil. In Japan, it has been used for over 80 years and no adverse effects have been reported. It was just recently approved by the FDA in 2014 for use in the United States.

SDF is considered safe when used as directed by a dental professional. It is important to note that SDF may cause temporary discoloration of cavities, turning them black. However, this cosmetic issue is generally outweighed by the treatment’s benefits, especially in cases where the primary concern is preventing further decay or alleviating sensitivity.

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a dental treatment used to manage and arrest dental caries (cavities) in a non-invasive manner. It is typically applied as follows:

  • Cleaning and Drying: The dentist starts by cleaning the affected tooth and ensuring it is dry for better SDF adherence.
  • Application: SDF is applied topically to the carious lesions using a small brush or applicator. It penetrates the tooth’s enamel and dentin.
  • Reaction: SDF works by inhibiting the growth of bacteria responsible for tooth decay and hardening the affected tooth structure.
  • Multiple Teeth: The process can be repeated for multiple teeth with carious lesions during a single appointment.
  • Post-Treatment Care: After application, it’s important not to eat or drink for at least an hour to allow SDF to take effect. Some discoloration may occur on treated areas, turning them dark.
  • Follow-Up: Dentists will schedule follow-up appointments to assess the progress and reapply SDF as needed.

SDF is particularly useful for children, individuals with dental anxiety, or those with extensive dental decay where conventional treatments may not be immediately possible. It can help prevent further decay and provide temporary relief until more extensive dental care can be administered.

What’s the catch?

One unfortunate side effect of SDF is the staining. It will turn any infected area of the tooth black.

Is it only for kids?

SDF is recommended for all ages, especially patients who are at high risk of tooth decay, patients suffering from dry mouth, medically/behaviorally challenged patients, and patients who would need to spread out any major treatment. 

Consult Your Dentist

If you’re interested in exploring the benefits of Silver Diamine Fluoride as a part of your dental treatment plan, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified dentist. They will evaluate your oral health and recommend the most suitable treatment options tailored to your needs.

At Grand Mission Dentistry, we are committed to providing our patients with the latest advancements in dentistry, including Silver Diamine Fluoride. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover how SDF can improve your oral health and enhance your smile.