What Is SDF? Can It Stop Cavities In Children?
While Silver Diamine Fluoride has some limitations, it has been proven safe and effective.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a liquid that can be brushed directly onto a cavity without any drilling or anesthesia, slowing down decay with the antibacterial properties of silver and the remineralizing power of fluoride.
SDF can be a great option for young children that cannot sit still for fillings or crowns, saving them from painful tooth infections without the need for sedation, shots, or fear!
While SDF has its limitations, it has been proven safe and effective in clinical trials, with no serious side effects and an 80% rate of stopping cavities in their tracks. SDF has been used successfully around the world for many decades but has only recently become available in the U.S.
So what’s the downside? SDF can stain teeth a dark black color, and can only temporarily stop cavities, so it needs to be reapplied every 6 months or so.
However, we can often minimize the staining effect by painting a temporary white filling material on top. When the child is old enough, the stained area can be removed when the final fillings or crowns are done.
In addition to delaying treatment on young children, SDF can be used on adults to stop sensitivity and prolong the life of compromised teeth due to root damage.
It is always my goal to offer conservative treatment options whenever possible, so I am proud to offer SDF to my patients as an option!