Silver diamine fluoride has been in the news recently as a new product for dentistry. Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry offers it as an alternative to traditional cavity treatment.
It’s primarily for patients with decay who may be too young, medically compromised or apprehensive for fillings and crowns. The good news is that it involves no injections, drilling, or pain. The mechanism of action is that the silver acts as an anti-microbial agent by killing bacteria and preventing the formation of new biofilm. The fluoride prevents further demineralization of tooth structure.
Teeth with minimal to moderate decay or hypoplasia (defect in formation) can be treated. Any tooth that has very deep decay that is close to the nerve or a tooth that is abscessed cannot be treated with this technique. The actual application of the product takes a few minutes. Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav apply this medication with a small brush onto the tooth. The entire length of the appointment varies based on how many teeth are treated and the child’s behavior. Once teeth are treated, we may have to re-apply the medication. At your follow-up appointment, we will let you know if the tooth needs more applications of the product.
The main drawback of silver diamine fluoride is that any active decay on the tooth will turn black permanently. This affected tissue can be removed with traditional methods when teeth get fillings or crowns in the future. It’s contraindicated for patients with a true silver or heavy metal allergy.
The medication has a metallic taste and can stain any gingiva and mucosa that it comes in contact with. This stain on the tissue is like a temporary tattoo and will fade over a few weeks. We carefully isolate the tooth and place a barrier on the gingiva to minimize the chances of this happening.
All in all, this treatment is a safe interim option for the young, apprehensive dental patient. Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns. We would be happy to answer your questions about this new and exciting option for treatment.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.