Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)

What is Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)?

Silver Diamine Fluoride is a dental treatment that can be used to arrest tooth decay and prevent further progression of cavities. It involves applying a liquid solution to the affected tooth, which helps to stop the decay and strengthen the tooth structure. SDF can be particularly useful for people who may have difficulty undergoing traditional dental treatments, such as young children, individuals with special needs, or older adults with complex dental issues.

What are the benefits of Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)?

SDF may slow or stop tooth decay. Many patients also find that SDF is helpful in relieving sensitivity. We have found that early intervention with SDF is often in the best interests of patients who struggle with daily oral hygiene routines.

What are some of the possible side effects of using SDF?

  • The cavity and white pre-cavities will darken permanently as the decay process stops.
  • Healthy tooth structure will not discolor.
  • Discolored tooth structure can be replaced with a filling at a later date.
  • Tooth colored fillings and crowns may discolor if SDF is applied to them. Normally this is temporary and can be polished off.
  • If SDF comes in contact with skin and or/gums, temporary discoloration may occur. It typically disappears in 1-3 weeks.
  • Every reasonable effort is made to ensure the success of the SDF treatment. There is a risk that the procedure will not stop decay, and no guarantee of success is granted or implied.
  • SDF is a treatment to stop or slow decay; however, the treatment may not prevent the cavity from growing. In that case, the tooth will require further treatment, such as a repeat SDF application, a filling, a crown, a root canal or an extraction.

Are there alternatives to SDF treatment?

  • The primary alternative to SDF would be an invasive restorative solution. Restorative treatment may include the placement of fillings, other restorations, or extractions.
  • You do have the option of forgoing SDF treatment. If you have a tooth or teeth with active decay, a decision to forgo treatment may lead to continued deterioration of the tooth structure and an undesirable cosmetic appearance.

Examples of SDF Applications with Tooth-Colored Fillings

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