As pediatric dentists, we are always searching for ways to make dentistry easier to tolerate, especially for children and people with special needs. Recently, Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) has been studied for use as a cavity treatment option that requires no drilling, filling, or sealing. The logic behind it? Silver’s antibacterial properties!
At Floss Boss Pediatric Dentistry, we offer silver diamine fluoride treatment and other restorative options, such as fillings, crowns, and sealants. As medical caregivers for your children, it’s our top priority to provide high quality of care for their dental and oral needs, including by using the treatment that is most effective and most comfortable for them.
What Is Silver Diamine Fluoride Treatment?
SDF has been approved and used in many other countries for years. It’s been available in the United States to address issues like tooth sensitivity, but providers have begun to use it as an alternative or supplemental treatment for cavities in children.
Silver Diamine Fluoride is a three-part solution made of (you guessed it) Silver, Diamine, and Fluoride. Silver has been used as an antibacterial agent for thousands of years, so it only makes sense that we’ve begun to test out its use on cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. Turns out, it’s super effective! Diamine is an antiseptic used to stabilize the solution and kill harmful bacteria.
Finally, we all know about our good friend Fluoride. Fluoride protects teeth against cavities and cavity-causing bacteria by restoring enamel and defending the tooth against acidic enzymes released by plaque bacteria.
How Does It Work?
When you bring your child in for SDF treatment, they won’t require any sedatives or local anesthetic because all that’s needed to apply it is a micro brush. After cleaning the teeth, our dentist will apply the silver solution to the cavities and allow it to infiltrate the areas where bacteria has harmed the tooth.
With a single treatment, it kills the bacteria and saves healthy tooth tissue–all without a drill or a needle. SDF does need to be reapplied, but, like sealants, it can stop a cavity in its tracks and prevent contagious bacteria from spreading to other teeth.
Are There Any Side Effects?
While rare, there are possible side effects, including gum pain and swelling. One of the most common side effects has to do with the ionizing property of silver when it kills bacteria. As a result of its powerful antiseptic properties, teeth may stain black where the silver has touched. For many, the effects aren’t permanent and will disappear within several weeks. For some, the stains will last as long as the tooth does.
While silver stains can leave a mark on your child’s satisfaction with their teeth, it may be a small price to pay for the benefits, especially if the treated tooth will eventually be replaced by their permanent tooth. It will be up to you and your child to decide if it’s worth it to risk the stains for drilling-free, long-lasting cavity relief and prevention.
Visit Floss Boss Pediatric Dentistry in Flemington, NJ
At Floss Boss, we aim to make children’s dentistry as easy, pain-free, and safe as possible for our patients. Children shouldn’t have to grow up afraid of the dentist–we know how harmful this can be for their long-term health! That’s why we strive to create a positive atmosphere through kindness and quality care. Schedule your appointment today by calling 908-888-9505 today.