What is Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)?
In simplest terms, silver diamine fluoride, or SDF, is a colorless liquid that contains silver particles as well as fluoride ions. Much like traditional fluoride, SDF is painted onto tooth enamel in order to strengthen and protect teeth. As it turns out, SDF is largely used outside of the United States. However, in recent years, more pediatric dentists have been incorporating it into their practices because of it’s effectiveness for younger patients. When applied by a professional, it’s considered to be one hundred percent safe and ideal for stopping the future development of cavities.
What are the Benefits of SDF?
One of the key differences between SDF and traditional fluoride is its ability to delay more complex treatments until your child reaches a certain age. This is because SDF stops cavities from growing, effectively removing the need for placing a dental filling. Because it stops the development of cavities that have already formed, you can put off treatments that your child might find incredibly difficult to complete, especially if they involve the use of a dental drill.
Is Silver Diamine Fluoride Right for My Child?
There are many instances where SDF may be a more appropriate solution for your child’s preventive care. For example, if your child is overly sensitive to the use of dental instruments and substances typically used during cavity treatments, SDF may be an ideal solution. This is often the case for children who suffer from anxiety or have special needs, both of which can make dental treatments difficult to complete.
Furthermore, if you struggle to make time for your child’s dental appointments, SDF can help keep cavities to a minimum and even prevent them entirely. The treatment itself is fast, requires no special equipment to complete, and is usually only needed once every year.
With that said, if your child has an allergy to silver, oral ulcerations, canker sores, advanced gum disease, or severe tooth decay which exposes the soft tissue inside of their tooth, SDF is not recommended. Additionally, SDF can cause minor black staining on their teeth. Even though this is purely a cosmetic issue, it’s something to keep in mind as it can transfer to clothing or nearby tissues.
Does SDF sound like an ideal treatment for your child? A pediatric dentist in Allen is prepared to help! Feel free to give us a call to schedule your child’s next appointment.