What is SDF?
Silver Diamine Flouride is a product that is used to slow or stop the progression of caries (dental decay) without removing tooth structure. It is considered a conservative method of treating cavities until a more permanent solution can be reached.
Who Benefits for SDF?
Kennedy Dental recommends this treatment for patients who may be medically compromised, have a very high decay rate, have high anxiety levels or may be uncooperative at certain stages of development. Silver Diamine can also be used to decrease sensitivity in teeth in limited circumstances.
Why is SDF used?
This is a very safe procedure when used by a dental professional. The only contradiction is having a silver allergy. One of the side effects of using SDF is the dark staining. Many patients are happy to explore this option when sedation for dental treatment is the only option.
Not treating dental decay can be disastrous for several reasons. Dental decay always progresses and becomes larger. Sometimes the pulp (nerve) of the tooth is reached by the decay and causes severe pain or an abscess ( or cyst) at the root of the tooth. The early removal of teeth can interrupt the normal development of the upper and inner jaw bones and can cause crowding or misaligned teeth that requires orthodontics later in life. Your first teeth serve to guide your permanent into position.
How is SDF used?
Silver Diamine is essentially an antibiotic that we paint onto the tooth with a small paint brush. Flavored Fl is on top of the SDF to seal it and to cover the taste.
SDF kills the bacteria that is causing the decay and turns the decayed portion of the tooth into a hard substance. The dark staining tells us the cavity has stopped growing. We are very careful with this medicine but it does stain clothing and skin. We often see patients in two to three weeks after the initial application to reapply the medicine and to see how the medicine is working.