Silver Diamine Fluoride Treatment in Apex & Holly Springs, NC

What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is an inexpensive, non-invasive antimicrobial liquid that is applied topically to treat cavities in a fast, affordable, and painless manner. It is 38% SDF, a silver fluoride salt made soluble in water through the addition of ammonia. Other topical fluorides, including toothpaste and professionally-applied varnish, primarily aim to prevent future tooth decay. More invasive treatments are typically required to treat decay once the caries process has begun to erode teeth—until now. SDF is the first and only dental therapy the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has fast-tracked through the approval process. To date, no toxic adverse events have been reported!

According to Dr. Peter Milgrom, one of the lead researchers for the clinical trials, SDF could help states fill gaps in their efforts to reduce childhood tooth decay, a prevalent and persistent public health problem. SDF has been used internationally for decades to arrest dental caries in primary and permanent teeth. As reported in a recently published meta-analysis, two-thirds of all dentinal caries lesions studied (those that had progressed into the dentin) were found to be arrested after treatment with SDF. When teeth with arrested dental decay are not subsequently restored with dental fillings or full coverage crowns, studies show it is advisable to reapply SDF every six months.

Compared to a traditional filling that requires shots of local anesthetic and drilling of tooth structure, this treatment is non-invasive and more comfortable for the patient. It is a liquid that is simply brushed on to the cavity that can stop current decay and also prevent new decay in the future.

What side effects or negative results occur when using SDF?

  • SDF does cause superficial black staining due to formation of silver oxide. Countertops, floors and other surfaces can become stained black as well if they come in contact with the silver diamine. Therefore, SDF is most appropriately applied carefully to caries lesions only by trained, skilled providers in a controlled clinical environment.

  • SDF does not restore tooth form or function, so large holes that trap food may still eventually require a filling or crown.

  • SDF requires repeat application for maximum efficacy.

  • SDF can not be used in the presence of infection or decay into the nerve.

Please contact your dentist to learn more about this treatment and see if it’s right for you.

Twin Leaf Dentistry offers Silver Diamine Fluoride and is conveniently located on the border of Holly Springs and Apex, NC. To learn more, please call us at 919.863.3933 or use our Request an Appointment form.