SILVER IS THE NEW BLACK
Recently, the American Dental Association (ADA) approved the clinical use of Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) in management of treating or arresting advanced cavitated lesions (teeth decays).
What is SDF?
SDF is a medicament consisting of silver, fluoride, water and ammonia, which can be placed on a tooth that is actively decaying, to arrest the process. It is minimally invasive compared to the conventional way of treating cavities, which involves getting locally anesthetized (numb), the decay being drilled off, and the portion of the decayed tooth replaced with a filling material, either resin or amalgam. Instead, in treating carious lesions with SDF , the dentist simply applies the medication topically on the decayed tooth (baby or permanent) over a two week period followed by biannual reapplication.
The benefit of SDF and the downsides…
SDF has been shown to be very effective in arresting advanced cavities. It is minimally invasive, meaning that it does not require your getting numb, or having a tooth drilled. It is just a topical application. Therefore procedure is very comfortable, and effective. But, it causes immediate discoloration of the tooth, and turns it black. This is the biggest esthetic concern with the medication. In patients with extreme dental phobia and older adults who have compromised ability to effectively clean and are more predisposed to having lots of cavities, the black discoloration maybe overlooked.
The use of SDF for treating cavities is well established, but research is still ongoing in its use to prevent for cavities. The options for caries prevention still remain: optimally fluoridated water, plaque control by- brushing teeth twice daily with fluoride containing tooth paste and flossing at least once a day, use of fluoride varnish (prescribed by your dentist), and reducing sugar consumption.
Remember that at SMILE LEAGUE DENTAL, we are committed to providing and improving our patients oral health through evidence based research and its clinical application. We offer Silver Diamine Fluoride to help treat your dental decays, and make you more comfortable. Ask us today about options for treating tooth decay, including Silver Diamine Fluoride!
Eric, J, (2018). Can liquid silver set the gold standard. AGD Impact, 46(7), 20-25