Is Silver Diamine Fluoride Safe and Effective for Treating Cavities in Children?

Is Silver Diamine Fluoride Safe and Effective for Treating Cavities in Children?

July 10, 2023

What Is Silver Diamine Fluoride for Children?

Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a topical liquid for preventing and arresting dental caries in children. The non-invasive treatment comprises silver, fluoride, water, and ammonia. A small brush applies it to the affected teeth. Silver diamine fluoride treatment near you kills the bacteria that cause cavities by strengthening the tooth enamel. It can also reduce sensitivity in the affected teeth.

How Does the Treatment Work?

The treatment usually takes only a few minutes for the Pediatric dentist to apply the topical liquid directly to the affected teeth with a small brush.

The different components of the silver diamine fluoride work cohesively to fight bacteria that cause infection. Ideally, after applications, the silver ions in SDF kill the bacteria responsible for causing cavities. The ammonia stabilizes the fluoride ions, the fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel, and the water dilutes the SDF solution. Such an outcome has high success rates in reducing the risks of cavities, especially as a preventive measure before cavities develop on teeth.

When Do Children Need SDF?

First, silver diamine fluoride treatment near you is common as a preventive measure for kids at a high risk of developing cavities. It comprises children with poor oral hygiene, a diet high in sugar, or other underlying health conditions contributing to tooth decay.

Further, SDF is beneficial for children afraid of traditional dental treatments. It is also a treatment that dentists in Calgary, AB, recommend as a cost-effective alternative to other dental treatments, such as fillings, especially for low-income families who may not be able to afford traditional treatments.

SDF is also ideal for treating early-stage dental caries. Your dentist at Sunridge Dental Clinic can apply SDF to the affected teeth to stop the decay from progressing further and potentially avoid the need for more invasive dental treatments, such as fillings. However, it is only effective when you detect the infection early.

Children who cannot tolerate traditional dental treatments due to fear, anxiety, or other factors like developmental disabilities, can also be great candidates for SDF.

What Are the Benefits of Using Silver Diamine Fluoride for Children’s Dental Health?

Some of the reasons that make SDF treatments worthwhile for children’s teeth are:

  • Prevention of tooth decay: SDF is a big part of preventive dental care for effectively preventing the development and progression of tooth decay in children.
  • Non-invasive treatment: SDF is a pain-free treatment option for treating early-stage cavities without drilling or injections. Besides, it does not require anesthesia or sedation before treatment.
  • Cost-effective: SDF treatment is less expensive than traditional restorative treatments like dental fillings.
  • Reduced risk of further decay: SDF treatment significantly reduces the risk of further decay in affected teeth, potentially avoiding more extensive and expensive dental treatments in the future.

How Often Should Children Receive Silver Diamine Fluoride Treatments?

The frequency of silver diamine fluoride (SDF) treatments for children depends on dental needs and the dentist’s recommendation. Usually, SDF should be reapplied every six months for prevention and maintenance purposes.

However, children with early-stage cavities may need treatment more frequently than six months until the decay has been arrested. Afterward, they can resume regular intervals as a preventive measure.

Is SDF All Your Child Needs?

SDF is not a permanent solution for excellent dental health. For one, its effectiveness significantly reduces if it is not reapplied periodically. Additionally, good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing regularly, and maintaining a healthy diet, are still crucial for maintaining good oral health and reducing the risk of tooth decay in the long term.

Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are also essential to allow a dentist to monitor the effectiveness of SDF treatment and identify any new or progressing cavities that may require additional treatment.

Besides, SDF treatment is not appropriate for all cases of tooth decay. You should use it with other preventive measures like dental cleanings, sealants, and at-home practices, such as brushing and flossing regularly.

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