Silver Diamine Fluoride in Huntington Beach, CA | Little Pearls Dentistry For Kids
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Silver Diamine Fluoride

 

 

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:

  • Very young children with shallow cavities that are visible in the mouth – SDF will help to stop the cavity from progressing, and delay the need for invasive treatment until the child is older.
  • Children of all ages that have small pit/fissure cavities located on the chewing surfaces of primary (baby) molars.
  • Front teeth that have deep cavities, but that might fall out in the next 2 years.
  • Between baby molars that have small cavities but might fall out in the next 2 years to prevent the caries from spreading to the adult molars.
  • Sensitive teeth that have defective enamel. SDF acts as a de-sensitizing agent.
  • Patients at higher risk for cavities because of a genetic predisposition.

 

SDF is NOT for:

  • Teeth that are broken or infected, needing crowns, pulpotomies (baby root canals) or extractions
  • Cavities that are very deep (SDF cannot rebuild tooth structure needed for function- it can only slow down/stop the progression of cavities)

 

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?

  • The biggest disadvantage is that SDF will turn the cavity black. While this may be unappealing visually, this actually indicates that the SDF has slowed the cavity from progressing;
  • SDF does not restore tooth form and function. Many of our patients will continue to need a more traditional approach to cavity care that includes removing decay and filling the affected tooth. But for plenty of our young patients, SDF is the ideal solution on an interim basis.
  • SDF requires repeat application for maximum efficacy
  • SDF can not be used in the presence of infection or decay into the nerve.

 

Little Pearls Dentistry for Kids will offer SDF treatment as an option if it is appropriate for your child.

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.