Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a new dental treatment that has been gaining attention in the dental community. Some dentists are calling it a “game changer” because of its ability to halt tooth decay and prevent cavities. But what is silver diamine fluoride, and is it safe for kids? In this post, we’ll take a closer look at SDF and find out what parents need to know about this new dental treatment.
What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?
Clinical applications of silver diamine fluoride, an antibacterial liquid solution licensed by the FDA, are used to treat and prevent dental cavities. While eliminating decay and inserting a restoration is the gold standard for treating tooth decay, this alternative treatment allows patients to prevent themselves from undergoing invasive treatment, which is especially helpful for young children with baby teeth who would be unable to finish regular treatment.
Silver diamine fluoride treatment has been shown to be efficient at stopping the progression or spread of decay, but it will not prevent the need for restorative dentistry to restore function or appearance. Fillings, crowns, and root canal therapy are all examples of dental restorations.
The following are some cases where SDF is preferable:
- Children of all ages who have special difficulties may not be able to sit still long enough for numbing to take effect. They also may not understand the process enough to remain calm. Their cavities can be treated in minutes by SDF, and they won’t have to go through any pain to get it done.
- Children over the age of 13 can deal with dental decay in baby teeth until their permanent teeth grow in. Applying SDF correctly helps prevent decayed baby teeth from affecting the growth and development of adjacent permanent teeth.
- The risk of cavities in children can be reduced by using SDF if there is a history of cavities in the family.
- This is the least invasive way to treat dental decay in infants and toddlers. It can also keep teeth from decaying further. The teeth of infants and toddlers are meant to be temporary, so some parents ask if it’s worth it to cure cavities in these teeth. Children’s ability to chew food and communicate effectively depends on the development of strong, healthy teeth.
- Up to eight teeth at once can have cavities filled using SDF. This is the go-to treatment for youngsters with several cavities because it takes less time and doesn’t cause as much discomfort as having each one individually filled.
Note: If your child has a silver allergy, severe front tooth damage, gingivitis, lichen planus, or simply doesn’t want discoloured teeth, you should not use SDF.
How Does It Work?
With a tiny paintbrush, SDF is applied to the hole. Cavity treatment often takes no more than two minutes. The best part is that this restorative treatment option does not involve any pain, needles, or drilling. Treatment has a metallic taste and may cause temporary gum irritation that goes away after a few days.
After a thorough cleaning and drying, one drop of SDF is painted onto each tooth using a tiny brush, and the treatment is left to set for around two minutes. When the solution is painted over teeth with decay, it kills the bacteria responsible for the decay, so halting the development of cavities and slowing the decay process to a crawl. When the silver strengthens and protects the exposed dentin, the root cause of hypersensitivity is diminished.
Is It Safe?
Silver diamine fluoride therapy has the advantage of being relatively risk- and side-effect-free. Most people worry about their teeth turning a darker shade after getting their teeth whitened, which is purely a cosmetic concern. Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) can be used to treat cavities, however, it produces a black stain on teeth as it oxidizes (it does not stain healthy enamel). Furthermore, it has the potential to temporarily discolor any tissue surfaces with which it comes into touch (for example, lips or gums).
The discoloration of oral tissues is just transient. Stains on these soft tissues may last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks because of the rapid cell turnover. Tissue discoloration is unlikely if done by a competent dentist.
However, adults may be dissuaded from pursuing this treatment option because the blackening of teeth is irreversible. However, because baby teeth naturally fall out as a child develops, the stains are very temporary. Silver teeth are the result of some children having had crowns placed to cover up discoloration.
The moderate and transient discomfort that may result from SDF coming into contact with oral tissues is unlikely to be serious enough to need medical attention. Patients who have shown a sensitivity to silver should not be given this. Another major selling point of silver diamine fluoride is that it is completely safe for patients.
Read more: What to Expect in Your Child’s Dental Exam
Contact Junior Smiles of Stafford to know more about Silver Diamine Fluoride
If you are looking for an alternative to traditional dental treatments, Silver Diamine Fluoride may be a good option for you. Contact a reputable pediatric dentist like Junior Smiles of Stafford today to schedule a consultation and find out if this treatment is right for you. We are proud to offer this service as part of our comprehensive dentistry services and look forward to helping you achieve the beautiful smile that you deserve.
Why Choose Junior Smiles of Stafford?
Our Stafford, VA team is well-versed in working with clients of various ages and backgrounds. They’ll take the time to get to know you and your family’s requirements, and they’ll work with you to design a treatment plan that suits your schedule. Sealants and fluoride treatments are just two of the many preventative care options we provide to keep your mouth healthy.
Visiting Junior Smiles of Stafford means you’re in good hands when it comes to receiving high-quality care. Your child’s dental health improves with each visit, ensuring a brighter smile for years to come. We adhere to the ADA and AAPD’s guidelines for best practices.
Where Are We Located?
Phone: (540) 699-2441
Fax: (540) 699-2464
Monday and Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesdays and Thursdays: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Fridays and Saturdays: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM (By appointment only)
How to Book Your Kids First Appointment at Junior Smiles of Stafford
Fill out the form on our website. Within 24 hours, a member of our team will get back to you.