Silver Diamine Fluoride for Cavity Control

One of the hot topics in pediatric dentistry is Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF). It has been a hot topic lately, but it has been used for a long time. In Japan, it has been used for the past 900 years without any reported adverse effects.

What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?
It is 25% silver and 5% fluoride dissolved in solvent.
Silver Diamine Fluoride

How Does Silver Diamine Fluoride Work?
Silver is known to be an effective antimicrobial. It inhibits reproduction of cavity causing bacteria.
Fluoride is known to promote remineralization of teeth, prevent demineralization and inhibit cavity causing bacteria growth (find more about fluoride hereFluoride Facts).
In summary, Silver Diamine Fluoride stops the cavity process and decreases tooth sensitivity.

When is Silver Diamine Fluoride Recommended?

– Kids with high risk of cavities
– Kids who are unable to get treatment right away due to healthy or medical reasons
– Temporary treatment of cavities while waiting to get permanent treatment done
– Kids with special needs

What are the Limitations of Silver Diamine Fluoride?

– The cavity will turn black, which shows that the cavity has been arrested. It is permanent discolouration. Healthy tooth does not turn black.
– It is recommended that the Silver Diamine Fluoride gets applied to teeth at least every 6 months. It is not a permanent solution for teeth.
– The Silver Diamine Fluoride treated tooth can still develop new cavities
– White fillings can be stained black by Silver Diamine Fluoride
– Skin or clothes can stain black temporarily for 2-3 weeks.
– Just like anything in life, it is not 100% effective. It works 90% of the time when used twice a year.
Please see the pictures of teeth below to see what Silver Diamine Fluoride staining looks like.
Silver Diamine Fluoride

When Should you Avoid Silver Diamine Fluoride?
– If your child is allergic to silver, we should not use Silver Diamine Fluoride
– If your child has ulcers in the mouth, wait till ulcers are healed before the treatment with Silver Diamine Fluoride

What Should You Do?
– Do you think your child might benefit from Silver Diamine Fluoride?
– Book an appointment with a pediatric dentist near you to assess whether your child is a candidate for Silver Diamine Fluoride. It is only available at your dentist.

Dr. Ella Choi is a certified specialist in pediatric dentistry serving Vancouver and South Surrey.