The Silver Bullet for Cavities: A Closer Look at Silver Diamine Fluoride

November 17, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — hifivekidsdent @ 2:34 pm
A child smiling in the dentist chair after being treated with SDF

In spooky stories about werewolves, it’s a silver bullet that does them in. The same can now be said about cavities. These little monsters can cause pain and discomfort in children, and possibly alter the formation of their adult teeth! But now, there’s a treatment of silver diamine fluoride (SDF) that has been proven to prevent 80 percent of all cavities!

If you want to learn more about this remarkable silver bullet for cavities, continue reading.

What Is SDF?

SDF is a clear liquid consisting of silver, fluoride, and ammonia. It has already been recognized for its antimicrobial properties in Japan, where it has been a regular treatment for almost a century. However, a recent study conducted by New York University got America in the game.

The study showed the incredible effectiveness of SDF in preventing cavities among school-aged children. The results were revolutionary, and in 2014, the FDA approved its use for dental treatment.

How Does SDF Work?

SDF’s chemical makeup is what makes it so effective. Once the treatment is applied, it works on two fronts:

  1. It inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause cavities. When plaque forms on teeth, it produces acid by feeding on food particles and multiplying. The silver and ammonia in the treatment work together to stop this spread and reduce the overall effect of plaque.
  2. It promotes the remineralization of tiny teeth. The fluoride in the treatment immediately begins to strengthen the enamel. As a bonus, with the growth of enamel-eating bacteria stunted, the teeth are better able to absorb minerals from food, helping them to stay stronger longer.

Is Silver Diamine Fluoride Safe for Kids?

Yes! In fact, its non-invasive nature makes it a great option for children who may have anxiety about traditional cavity treatments. The dentist just has to “paint” the teeth with the liquid and let it sit for a couple of minutes before rinsing it off with water. It’s that simple.

The only side-effect of SDF across hundreds of studies is black staining around the treatment area. It’s also recommended that you test your child for silver sensitivity before treatment as they could have an allergic reaction.

If you want to be proactive in preventing cavities, then SDF could be the silver bullet you’ve been looking for. Talk to your dentist about any concerns you may have. They’ll be able to offer you more insight. As research into SDF continues, it is clear that its innovative approach will offer a brighter, cavity-free future for the next generation.

About the Author

Dr. Maria Murad is a friendly and talented pediatric dentist with years of advanced training in treating smaller smiles. She earned her dental doctorate at the University of Detroit Mercy and then pursued specialty training in pediatric dentistry at the prestigious University of Texas Health Science Centre. As a life-long learner, she continues to take continuing education courses to improve her skills. Call (289) 302-6065 to schedule a silver diamine fluoride treatment at HiFive Kids Dental and Braces or visit the website to explore other services.

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