What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

Nearly half of all children will develop a cavity in at least one of their baby teeth. Luckily, there are many ways to treat and even prevent tooth decay. One of those options is silver diamine fluoride (SDF), a quick and effective liquid dental treatment that is safe, even for young children. Read on to learn more.

What is SDF?

silver diamine fluoride feature

Silver diamine fluoride is a dental treatment that helps to prevent tooth cavities, also known as tooth caries. It can also prevent cavities from getting worse or spreading to other teeth. A child may still need drilling to fill a cavity or other dental work later on, but SDF is a great temporary fix.

Parents like SDF because it’s inexpensive and generally only requires one treatment per year. And, kids like it because it’s quick and painless. Plus, no drilling or special tools are needed. Before SDF was approved by the FDA in 2014, fluoride varnish was used. While the varnish did help to prevent cavities, research shows that SDF is a better option for reducing cavity growth over time.

What is SDF Made of & How Does it Work?

Silver diamine fluoride is a liquid that is made from a mixture of silver, water, fluoride, and ammonia. The silver kills bacteria that causes tooth decay, while the fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth. And, the water and ammonia give the fluoride mixture its liquid form.

SDF is applied directly to the surface of the teeth that are affected by cavities. In order to apply the treatment, the teeth must be dry. So, the dentist may use cotton or gauze and/or a suction tool to remove moisture. After that, the SDF liquid is applied. Overall, the process is completely safe and pain-free. And, because SDF can also be helpful when used as a preventative measure, Dr. Prokop may recommend it for your child.

However, while there are many benefits to SDF, it may not be right for every patient. If you have questions about silver diamine fluoride, reach out to the folks at Tooth Fairy Smiles. Simply request an appointment for your child online or call us at 410-897-1931. Dr. Prokop has years of experience in pediatric dentistry to ensure your child’s teeth remain healthy and strong.


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