Unfortunately, tooth decay is the most common preventable childhood disease. Traditional methods of treating minor cavities in primary (baby) teeth typically involve removing the affected area and using various materials to fill the cavity. Our office seeks to provide conservative and gentle treatment wherever possible, and silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) allows us to do this.
Silver Diamine Fluoride is a liquid substance used to prevent tooth cavities from forming, growing, or spreading to other teeth. It’s made up of silver, water, fluoride, and ammonia. The silver helps kill any bacteria while the fluoride helps your teeth rebuild the materials they are made of naturally. SDF is FDA-approved.
Silver Diamine Fluoride is applied directly to the surface of your teeth, most commonly those affected by cavities, but also occasionally used as a preventative measure. Because the fluoride is so effective at reducing cavity growth and requires few treatments it can be used as a great alternative to fillings for younger children and youth who are either restless or don’t yet have permanent teeth. The substance leaves a color on the tooth, which is why it’s ideal for baby teeth or teeth that are either temporary or will be removed.
One of our experienced staff members uses a brush dipped in SDF to paint the cavity. The silver in the liquid then gets to work, killing all the bacteria present, while the fluoride works to remineralize the tooth.