What is silver diamine fluoride (SDF)?

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What is silver diamine fluoride (SDF)?

Silver diamine fluoride, or SDF for short, is a liquid compound that is applied to teeth to stop cavities in their tracks. This compound can be used on some cavities to stop current tooth decay and prevent future tooth decay. This compound should be applied twice per year for maximum effectiveness. 

What are the pros associated with the use of silver diamine fluoride (SDF)?

SDF is useful as it is a pain-free approach to treating cavities. It is quick, effective and non-invasive. It relieves sensitivity associated with cavities and prevents cavities from forming or getting deeper. SDF can also be used to treat generalized hypersensitivity in the teeth, such as sensitivity to cold associated with gum recession. It is a great alternative to a traditional filling when cavities are very small or in people who have extreme dental anxiety.

What are the cons associated with the use of silver diamine fluoride (SDF)?

The most important thing to consider when using silver diamine fluoride is the fact that it permanently stains cavities black. This is a sign that it has effectively treated the cavity. While this is not usually an issue for back teeth, especially top back teeth, it is a factor that typically limits SDF from being applied to any teeth that are visible when smiling or talking. This compound also does not fill in cavities like a traditional filling would. This means that after SDF treatment, you will still get food trapped in that area and will need to be extra mindful to keep these areas clean. Sometimes, patients may return after SDF treatment to have a (drill free) filling material placed over the cavity, which is a technique called SMART (silver modified atraumatic restorative technique).

Am I a good candidate for silver diamine fluoride (SDF)?

SDF is a good treatment option for small cavities, as well as cavities in children, or very nervous patients. It is a good option for back teeth, but is not typically used on front teeth, as it stains cavities black. It is not a good option for deep cavities, or cavities that trap food. It is also contraindicated for patients with a silver allergy. 



* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.