SDF- Silver Diamine Fluoride- A new tool for stopping cavities
More recently, there has been a new tool in stopping cavities that has a real place in treating individuals with special needs. It is called Silver Diamine Fluoride, aka SDF, which is a topical agent that chemically arrests and prevents cavities. Essentially it is placed on a cavity and will stop it from progressing and getting any worse. It takes only about one minute to place on the tooth so it is a great tool for individuals with special needs who are not able to tolerate treatment or cooperate in the chair for a filling.
When Can it Be used?
SDF can be used on cavities that are visible in the mouth and have no signs of pain. Pain can mean that the cavity is already deep to the nerve of the tooth in which case it is too late for SDF to be effective.
How Is it Used?
SDF is placed on a small brush and applied right to the cavity itself. The individual will return to the dentist 2-4 weeks after for another application of SDF. Usually after two applications, it can be determined if SDF successfully stopped the progression of the cavity.
The Downside of SDF:
SDF will turn the cavity black. The black indicates that the SDF is successfully stopping the progression of the cavity, however it is important to make sure that the parent or caregiver is aware that the cavity will in fact turn black.