Silver Diamine Fluoride

Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is an antibiotic liquid. We use SDF on cavities to help stop tooth decay. We also use it to treat tooth sensitivity that is caused by tooth decay. SDF application typically requires application every 6-12 months.

Treatment with SDF will help to stop the progression of the tooth decay but SDF does not eliminate the need for dental filling or crown for the definitive treatment, functional and esthetics repair. Additional procedures will incur a separate fee.
Your child should not be treated with SDF if: 1) allergic to silver 2) there are painful sores or raw areas on your child’s gums (i.e., ulcerative gingivitis) or anywhere in the mouth (i.e., stomatitis).
Benefits: SDF can help stop tooth decay and help relieve sensitivity.

Risks related to SDF include but are not limited to:

  • The affected area of teeth will stain black permanently. Healthy tooth structure will not stain. Stained tooth structure can be replaced with a filling or a crown later on.
  • The existing tooth-colored fillings and crowns may discolor if SDF is applied to them. Color changes on the surface can normally be polished off. The edge between a tooth and
    filing may keep the color.
  • SDF may cause a brown or white stain on the skin or gums that causes no harm. It cannot be washed off but this will disappear in 1-3 weeks.
  • Your child may notice a metallic taste. This will go away rapidly.
  • If tooth decay is not arrested, the decay will progress. In that case the tooth will require further treatment, including repeat SDF application, a filling or a crown, root canal treatment or extraction.
  • Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure the success of SDF treatment. There is a risk that the procedure will not stop the decay and no guarantee of success is granted or implied.
  • These side effects may not include all of the possible situations reported by the manufacturer. If you notice other effects, please contact our office.

Alternative to SDF, not limited to the following:

  • No treatment, which may lead to continue deterioration of tooth structures and cosmetic appearance. Symptoms may increase in severity, with tooth nerve involvement.
  • Depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay, other treatment may include placement of fluoride varnish, a filling or crown, extraction or referral for advanced treatment modalities.