As a new addition to our prevention program, we are introducing Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF). SDF is a antibacterial liquid applied by your dentist to aid with hypersensitivity, cavities, and tooth decay. Research shows that using SDF along with good oral hygiene and proper diet can actually help arrest cavities. When the SDF is placed on a cavity it has an antibacterial effect, stopping the progression of the cavity. It is also thought that it will leave a small coating on the outside of the cavity impregnated with the SDF so when other bacteria try to colonize the area they are killed as well.
SDF is a particularly good option for young children or children with special needs. The SDF has to be reapplied to continue to shut down the bacteria in the area for a greater chance of success. Because of this, SD F is not a permanent solution, but can prevent further decay until the child is old enough to have the cavity filled.
The only drawbacks to using the SDF are that when the material touches the cavity it turns it black and will remain that way until the cavity is removed by a dentist. This presents a problem mainly in the front teeth where esthetics are more of a concern. The back of the mouth is a little bit easier to hide the black so SDF is used more on the back teeth than the front, but, white fillings or crowns can be used to cover the tooth. The SDF will also turn skin or gum tissue gray, however the discoloring will disappear after about a week. Mixing SDF with our prevention program is just another way that we can stop the cavities and restore the healthy mouth.
Dr. Boyd Simkins, DDS
I had a Dad bring his 3 year old in for exam, etc. He had gone to another dentist who had told him that he had 4 cavities on the front teeth and needed them restored. Apparently, this family has been living overseas for the past few years so he asked them if they would try Silver Diamine Fluoride first. The dentist said he didn’t know what that was, so the dad left. He said he searched the internet for SDF and Salt Lake City and we were the only office in the entire state that came up. He said overseas, especially in China, the protocol is SDF first and restorations later. Crazy, but very cool.