Silver Diamine Fluoride: A Dental Revolution

Silver Diamine Fluoride
Written by Nancy

According to a report published by the Journal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry, an estimated 2.5 billion people have untreated caries in their teeth. The current preventive treatments for dental cavities are effective short-term solutions. However, the high recurrence rate of cavities among children suggests that there’s a definite need for better treatments with long-term results.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first received the application for using Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) as a non-invasive dental treatment. After several clinical trials regarding the safety and effectiveness of the solution, the FDA-approved the SDF as a breakthrough drug for treating dental diseases in 2014.

Here’s what you need to know about this revolutionary topical treatment:

What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

SDF is an antimicrobial liquid substance comprised of silver, fluoride, water, and ammonia. Classified as a Class-II medical device, it’s considered safe for medical use with slight risks in rare cases.

How Does it Work?

The basic function of SDF is preventing tooth cavities from growing, forming or spreading to the other teeth. SDF is used in liquid form by dentists and is applied directly to the surface of the teeth of the affected area. Each component of the SDF solution has a purpose that works toward providing an effective treatment.

The silver helps to kill the bacteria while the fluoride triggers re-mineralization of the teeth. The water and ammonia are secondary components providing a liquid base for the mixture while helping the solution remain concentrated.


The SDF Application Process

The application of SDF is topical and non-invasive. The common process of SDF treatment includes the following steps:

  • The teeth are brushed and rinsed to remove any food particles or debris.
  • The affected teeth are isolated by placing cotton or gauze. This also prevents the saliva from moistening the area.
  • The teeth are dried using suction tools to remove excess moisture.
  • Using a micro brush, SDF is applied to the cavities for two minutes. Most dentists use a liquid form of the drug, containing 38% or more of the SDF solution.
  • Any excess solution is cleaned and patients are required not to eat or drink anything for at least an hour.

Effectiveness of SDF

The Effectiveness of SDF as a Treatment

According to a report published by Advance Dental Research, SDF stops 81% of the dental carries while being almost 67% effective in decreasing the formation of new cavities with repeated application. SDF also showed no significant harm to patients during 12 separate clinical trials conducted with over 1,800 patients.

SDF was observed to start preventing dental carries after the very first application. After the application of SDF, most patients reported immediate relief from tooth sensitivity as well.

For further information regarding SDF treatments, you can contact Our Children’s Dentist at 713-244-7796. Our team of leading certified pediatric dentists provides world-class Emergency Dental Care in Houston and neighboring areas of Beaumont and Corpus Christi, TX. We specialize in Silver Diamine Fluoride treatments to stop further growth of dental caries in children.

Make an appointment with us today and help your child smile with more confidence!

About the author



I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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