Silver Diamine Fluoride, or SDF for short, is a treatment used to treat cavities in primary (baby) teeth. This mixture is a blend of water, ammonia, silver, and fluoride. It’s applied to cavities in a liquid form. Together, these ingredients kill the bacteria on the tooth. Then, the SDF compound hardens, strengthens, and seals the tooth to prevent further decay.
This makes it an ideal alternative to fillings, particularly in young children. SDF can protect baby teeth until they fall out naturally, and are replaced with adult teeth. The only real drawback of this treatment is that the tooth will be stained black. This is why SDF is usually only recommended for baby teeth, rather than adult teeth.
At Tiny Tooth Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Su Kim offers SDF for kids. If your child is not ready for a filling or only has minor cavities, this is an excellent alternative. Contact us now to schedule an appointment, and get the care your little one needs in Columbia, Ellicott City, Elkridge, or surrounding communities.
Silver Diamine Fluoride has been used since the 1970s in Japan, but wasn’t approved by the FDA for use in the United States until 2014.
First, Dr. Kim will examine your child’s mouth to determine if SDF is the right treatment for them. SDF is suitable for most minor cavities, but large cavities may still require a filling or a dental crown.
Dr. Kim will clean your child’s mouth and the cavity to make sure it’s ready for treatment. Then, she will use a few cotton balls to isolate the tooth and make sure it stays dry.
Your child's dentist will apply a tiny amount of SDF using a special brush. This only takes about a minute. Then, she will use compressed air to gently dry the area, and make sure the SDF forms a tight seal. Then, the treatment is complete!
This is not always needed, but Dr. Kim may also recommend a full-mouth fluoride treatment after SDF. This helps protect your child’s other teeth, and dramatically reduces the risk of further tooth decay.
First, silver diamine fluoride is non-invasive. There’s no need for any drills, needles, or long dental appointments. It takes only a few minutes to apply, so it’s ideal for young kids, or kids who may have dental anxiety.
It’s also a lot cheaper. Since it’s a newer treatment in the United States, SDF is not always covered by dental insurance. However, it’s still much cheaper compared to a filling or a crown. This makes it a very budget-friendly option.
SDF usually lasts between 3-12 months, but it can be re-applied regularly by Dr. Kim. This extends its protection indefinitely. Dr. Kim will continue to re-apply SDF until your child’s baby tooth falls out naturally, and is replaced by an adult tooth.
16% of school age children have a fear of the dentist.