What is Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)?
- SDF is a liquid medication for tooth decay.
- SDF stops the cavity from growing by killing bacteria.
- Arrested tooth decay turns dark brown or black, right away or over time. (See photos below)
- Healthy areas of teeth treated with SDF will not stain and will remain a natural tooth color.
- Like other fluorides, SDF also strengthens the tooth to prevent new decay and is used to treat tooth sensitivity.
How is SDF treatment done?
- Teeth are dried and a small amount of SDF is brushed on areas of active tooth decay.
- Care must be taken to avoid allowing SDF to touch the gums, skin or clothing.
- When decay is treated, the dark color shows that the SDF is working.
- Early treatment can prevent more damage to the tooth.
- SDF may be a first stage or long-term treatment.
- A filling or other treatment may still be recommended if the SDF treatment is done after a cavity has already damaged the tooth.
- For best results, SDF may be applied every 6-12 months.
Who should not have SDF treatment? People who have:
- a silver allergy
- painful sores or raw areas in the mouth
- concerns about staining of the decay
Who should have SDF treatment? SDF may benefit:
- very young children who cannot yet cooperate for dental care
- children with decayed baby teeth that will soon be lost
- people whose treatment will delayed or need to be completed over a long period of time
- people with dry mouth from medications or chemotherapy
- people for whom other dental treatments are too challenging or not possible
Please ask your dental provider if you have any questions about SDF treatment.