Silver Diamine Fluoride

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a topical Fluoride application that is used to address sensitivity as well as small cavities in kids and certain adults. The Silver Diamine Fluoride has shown to be 95% effective in stopping the progression of cavities. While Silver Diamine Fluoride isn’t new in general, it is new in the US having just been approved by the FDA in 2015.

How does it work? During the painless application, Silver Diamine Fluoride is scrubbed into the cavity and allowed to penetrate into the tooth. The clear liquid kills surface bacteria and the silver and fluoride adhere and strengthen the damaged enamel causing the area to harden. There are limitations to the size of cavities treated with SDF as the depth of liquid penetration is only 200 microns deep. One downside to SDF is that it may turn the tooth black in areas where cavities are present. Depending on the location of the cavity, we can place a tooth colored filling to hid this discoloration.

Who benefits the most from a Silver Diamine Fluoride treatment? Children and adults with exposed root surfaces will benefit from an SDF treatment. Baby teeth are much smaller than permanent teeth and the enamel is very thin. The thin enamel makes teeth vulnerable to bacteria and cavities. The thinner enamel also allows for a deeper penetration of the SDF solution to kill the bacteria and re-harden the exterior enamel. Similar thoughts can be said with the exposed root surface in the aging population. The root of a tooth is often softer and therefore the SDF will penetrate deeper into the tooth to reharden the tooth surface and kill the cavity causing bacteria.

Do you think you or your child may benefit from Silver Diamine Fluoride? Give us a call or schedule online at

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