What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

Silver Diamine Fluoride is an FDA-approved liquid medication that clinically applied to slow down or stop the active dental caries and prevent further progression of disease. While the ideal way to treat teeth with decay is by removing the decay and placing a restoration, this alternative treatment allows us to stop decay, particularly with young children that have baby teeth.

How does Silver Diamine Fluoride work?

Silver Diamine Fluoride is composed of two primary components: silver and fluoride. Silver acts as an anti-microbial agent that simultaneously helps harden the tooth structure softened by decay. Fluoride is the active ingredient that puts a stop to tooth decay and helps prevent additional decay from appearing.

When is Silver Diamine Fluoride recommended?There are several situations in which it may be recommend by your child’s dentist. Those include, but are not limited to the following:
Children who may have excessive decay (severe early childhood caries)
Young children who have difficulty cooperating for treatment
Special needs patients
Children with carious lesions that may not all be treated in one visit

Are there any side affects?
The most prominent risk of SDF is a completely aesthetic one — blackening of the treated teeth. When the silver in SDF is applied to a tooth, it leaves a black stain on the damaged cavity portion of the tooth (it does not stain healthy enamel). It can also temporarily stain any tissue surfaces it comes into contact (for example, lips or gums).

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