We are excited to announce that Dentistry for Children & Adults Too! offers a new treatment to manage cavities for children and patients with special needs. Nobody looks forward to having a cavity drilled and filled by a dentist, but now there’s an alternative! A liquid that can be brushed on cavities to stop tooth decay painlessly with no injections, no drills, and is less expensive than fillings.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a non-invasive FDA-approved cavity fighting liquid medication that can be used to halt the progression of cavities. Originally approved by the FDA for tooth sensitivity, (SDF) is also useful for the treatment of tooth decay. Silver Diamine Fluoride is composed of two primary components, silver and fluoride. Silver acts as an anti-microbial agent that kills the bacteria that causes tooth decay and simultaneously strengthens your teeth. Fluoride is the active ingredient that helps prevent additional decay from appearing. While the ideal way to treat teeth with decay is by removing the decay and placing a restoration, this alternative treatment allows us to stop decay with a noninvasive method. This is particularly useful with young children and children with special needs. Treatment with SDF may not eliminate the need for restorative dentistry to repair function or aesthetics, but has been effective at prevention of further decay. According to the Center for Disease Control almost 20% of children aged 2-19 have untreated cavities. Children who are on the younger end of that spectrum may not be mature enough to handle routine restorative dental care.
Silver Diamine Fluoride treatment is a simple process and is applied to the teeth with a brush. The application takes only minutes. There is no noise, drilling, or numbing. This makes it an excellent choice for very small or anxious children and patients with special needs.
The tooth will be cleaned and dried
Using a micro brush, we apply a small amount of 38% Silver Diamine Fluoride to any teeth with visible cavities
A second application may increase the efficacy of the treatment.
These procedures may be followed up with a home fluoride rinse.
Using Silver Diamine Fluoride to treat tooth decay will result in a dark discoloration of the decayed area whether it was previously visible or not. Healthy tooth surfaces remain unchanged, but the tooth decay will turn very dark after application. In some cases, we can use SDF when children are very young, and then focus on restoring the teeth with more conventional treatment when children are older and better able to tolerate procedures. The use of SDF may also be used to buy time for some patients who have baby teeth that will be lost avoiding the need for fillings and sparing the patient more invasive dental treatment while still protecting the teeth from harmful bacteria. The use of SDF does not eliminate the need for dental fillings or crowns in order to restore function or appearance.
At Dentistry for Children & Adults Too! we advocate prevention! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that each child should have their first dental visit by his/her first birthday or with the appearance of a child’s first tooth. With visits to the dentist at regular intervals beginning at this age we can establish trust and teach a child that visits to the dentist are not only fun, but also provide proper preventive care and dental education which are the key to a lifetime of positive dental experiences. Keeping smiles healthy and beautiful, it’s what we do!