Many parents have asked us about the use of Silver Diamine Fluoride after the New York Times article, “Cavity-Fighting Liquid Lets Kids Avoid Dentist’ Drills.” published on July 11, 2016.
What is this magic liquid that everyone is talking about? Silver Diamine Fluoride or SDF is a clear liquid that once applied to teeth with cavities will turn the cavity darker in color and stop the growth and spread of the cavity. For decades, dentists in Japan and other countries have used SDF successfully. In the summer of 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the use of SDF and it became commercially available the following spring.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, data from several large clinical trials have shown the effectiveness and safety of SDF in young children for cavity control, even out performing fluoride varnish.
Is SDF right for my child? For young children who are not able to have dental fillings, then this is an effective way to stop the growth and reduce the spread of cavities. Once the patient is cooperative for dental fillings, a tooth colored restoration may be placed. Patients with silver allergies, ulcerative gingivitis or stomatitis are not candidates for SDF.
How is SDF placed? The affected teeth are isolated and dried. SDF is placed with a small brush and allowed to be absorbed for 1 minute (if possible). The excess is removed with cotton gauze.
Call Little Bytes Pediatric Dentistry (650) 322-9837 in Palo Alto for more information to see if your child is a candidate for SDF.