Silver Diamine Fluoride


Facts for consideration:

  • Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is an antibiotic liquid. We use SDF on cavities to help stop tooth decay from progressing. We also user it to treat tooth sensitivity. SDF application every 6-12 months after the initial 2 applications may be necessary.
  • Treatment with SDF does not eliminate the need for dental fillings or crowns to repair function or esthetics.
  • Your child should not be treated with SDF if: 1. they are allergic to silver. 2 There are painful or raw areas on the gums.

Benefits of SDF:

  • SDF can help stop tooth decay
  • SDF can help relive sensitivity


Risks related to SDF include, but are not limited to:

  • The affected area will stain black permanently. Healthy tooth structure will not stain. Stained tooth structure can be replaced with a filling or crown.
  • Tooth-colored fillings/ 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 filling may remain stained.
  • If accidently applied to the skin or gums, a brown or white stain may appear that causes no harm, cannot be washed off and will disappear in 1-3 weeks.
  • You may notice a metallic taste, it will go away rapidly.

Alternatives to SDF:

  • No treatment, which may lead to continues deterioration of the tooth structure and cosmetic appearance, as well as increased sensitivity and/or pain. There is a risk of infection or abscess when decay is left untreated.
  • Depending on location and extent of decay, other treatment may include fluoride varnish, filling or crown, extraction or advanced treatment modalities such as sedation or general anesthesia.


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