Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a topical medication that can be used to slow down or arrest cavities in primary and permanent teeth. SDF is a liquid that is applied to directly to a dental cavity with a small brush. SDF works by killing the bacteria present in the cavity, preventing plaque formation in that area, and strengthening the tooth.
A picture of a tooth treated with SDF by Mei et al., 2016.
Some of the advantages of SDF include: low toxicity, quick, painless, non-invasive, and inexpensive.
Some of the disadvantages of SDF include: permanent black staining of active decay, temporary black staining of skin, gums, and clothes, does not restore form or function to the cavitated tooth, and may not be covered by insurance.
While SDF has been shown to stop dental decay and is considered an atraumatic method of treatment, it is not intended for all patients or in all situations. Often additional applications of SDF and/or placement of a restoration (fillings or crowns) are required.
As with all methods of treating dental cavities, if SDF is considered to be an option for your child it will be reviewed with you in more detail. If you think this would be a good treatment option for your child or you would like more information regarding SDF please ask us!