While drilling and filling remain the standard treatment for cavities in both adults and children, young children now have another choice for managing tooth decay. Little Pearls Dentistry for Kids now offers Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) as an alternative treatment method for very young children with cavities. SDF has long been used in Europe and Asia, and is now approved for use in the US. SDF is a antimicrobial liquid that provides a safe and non-invasive way to prevent cavities from progressing, and, in many cases, may eliminate the need for sedation or general anesthesia.
What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?
Silver Diamine Fluoride is a colorless liquid that kills the bacteria that cause decay. Silver has been used for decades to treat burns and other conditions because of its bacteria-killing properties. The antimicrobial properties of silver, along with the restorative/protective properties of fluoride, allow this treatment to stop cavities from growing while preventing further tooth decay in the affected areas.
Who should use SDF?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), SDF works best for cavity control and management. It is not as long term of a solution as a filling, but it is an excellent option for temporary cavity control in children. SDF is an increasingly useful and appealing option for parents when treatment is needed on baby teeth that will eventually fall out.
The primary purpose of SDF is to prevent cavities from progressing. SDF does NOT restore tooth structure- so if there is a hole in a tooth, SDF can keep the cavity from getting bigger, but does not restore the shape and function of the tooth.
Silver Diamine Fluoride is safe?
Little Pearls Dentistry for Kids uses SDF on some patients as a holdover medicament to delay treatment until the child is old enough to offer the cooperation needed to restore the tooth without being scared or afraid. SDF can be used in a variety of situations, including:
SDF is NOT for:
How is it applied?
SDF is applied two or more times on teeth that have carious lesions. Application is continued until the child is old enough to receive definitive dental treatment or until the baby tooth has fallen out.
SDF is applied by using a small paintbrush dabbed in the liquid. We will brush your child’s tooth for up to two minutes to make sure that the liquid is able to penetrate as deeply into the cavity as possible.
Is it safe for my child? Does it hurt?
SDF’s first usage was documented in 1891 and has been used around the globe for many years. It is generally considered safe for use in toddlers and children. It is NOT for use in children who have a silver allergy. Application is done with a micro-paintbrush in a painless manner, and is applied at least twice, depending on the circumstances of the cavity.
What are the disadvantages of using SDF?
If you think your young child may have cavities, and are worried if they will be able to sit through a filling appointment, come to Little Pearls Dentistry for Kids to learn more about Silver Diamine Fluoride.