The silver diamine fluoride, SDF is a liquid substance used for preventing the cavities. It is also helpful in preventing the cavity from growing and spreading to other teeth. The SDF consists of silver, water, ammonia, and fluoride. The presence of silver help in killing the bacteria and water offers a liquid base for the mixture. On the other hand, fluoride helps the teeth in remineralization, and ammonia helps in making the solution effective by keeping it concentrated.
The use of SDF was approved for usage decades ago in Japan. In the year 2014, SDF was approved to be used in the USA. Though you can find them at the drug store, it is commonly used in dental clinics.
According to pediatric dental care, the silver diamine fluoride Service can be used for the child’s cavity treatment as well. Most of the dentists use the liquid form of the SDF which contains at least 38% of the SDF solution. It is typically applied to the surface of the teeth.
SDF is used for treating the areas affected by the cavity. However, it can be equally beneficial when used as a preventive measure on healthy teeth. Some studies also suggest that the dentist doesn’t need to treat cavities with filling or need any type of tooth surface modification before using SDF.
In earlier times as well, many dentists have made use of fluoride varnish for preventing the cavity development. However, SDF is known for being much more effective in reducing cavities than varnish. Also, you would need lesser SDF treatment in your life span.
The SDF is widely considered safe by dentists even when used on young children. However, there can be a few exceptions. You must not use SDF if you are allergic to silver. SDF is not a good idea when you have oral ulcerations, cancer sores, advanced gum disease, or severe tooth decay beneath the enamel. These conditions can cause pain due to ammonia present in SDF.
In some cases, SDF can cause black staining; however, it is recommended to use potassium iodide along with SDF for keeping the staining to a minimum.
The average cost of the SDF application is 75 dollars for a single session. This means around 20 to 25 dollars per tooth. The treatment may be covered by some insurance plans and also be eligible for flexible spending accounts from certain healthcare providers as it is a class II medical service. In some states, you can also find Medicaid plans which cover SDF treatments.
SDF is a painless as well as a safe alternative to the cavity drilling procedure. However, the dentist may not suggest SDF for every case of a cavity. Also, you may not find it as widely available as traditional fluoride varnish. But overall it is an effective treatment for preventing as well as stopping the growth of the cavity.