Nobody looks forward to having a cavity drilled and filled by a dentist. Now there’s an alternative: an antimicrobial liquid that can be brushed on cavities to stop tooth decay — painlessly.
Its called silver diamine fluoride, or “SDF.” It’s been used in Japan since the 1960s, but the Food and Drug Administration has just approved it for use in the United States recently. SDF kills the bacteria that causes plaque and promotes the remineralization of teeth.
The FDA cleared SDF for use as a tooth desensitizer for adults 21 and older several years ago. In November 2016, SDF was the first drug to be granted FDA approval under the “breakthrough therapy status” to treat cavities after medical studies showed SDF can halt the progression of cavities, prevent them and repair teeth.
Since approval in Japan more than two million containers have been sold. Not a single adverse event has been reported to the Japanese authorities since they approved SDF.
Compared to the traditional procedure of drilling a cavity and filling it, SDF is superior in almost all ways. SDF is
- Not expensive
- Involves no drilling
- Kills pathogenic organisms such as those causing cavities
- Easy to apply – its brushed on
- Shown by clinical studies show to be more effective than Sodium Fluoride at arresting cavities
- Provides immediate relief from dental hypersensitivity
- Hardens softened dentin making it more acid and abrasion resistant
The only side effect is that SDF will stain the decayed portion of the tooth a dark brown/black color (see the above photo). SDF is particularly helpful in pediatric dentistry as it allows Dr. Laskis to treat tooth decay in toddlers and children with no oral surgery. For kids with cavities in their “baby” teeth, or cavities on the back-side of teeth or in the back of their mouth, SDF will be a far more attractive option than using sedation (which Dr. Laskis never does), but which many pediatric dentists resort to when treating uncooperative children.
Not only is SDF effective for kids’ dental care, but also for treating patients with dental phobias and treating elderly patients who may not be able to tolerate surgery for invasive cavities involving multiple teeth. SDF is also FDA approved to treat sensitive teeth, so it can also help children and adults with this problem.
SDF is applied as follows: once your teeth are cleaned and vaseline is placed on your gums around the teeth to be treated, SDF is brushed onto the cavities. It is allowed to air dry for two minutes and that’s it! No taste, odor or discomfort. SDF is so safe and effective it can applied by our Registered Dental Hygienists.
The use of new safe and effective treatments, like SDF, to help patients is the heart of modern dentistry and the goal of Parkview Dentistry. As the premier kids dentist in Fountain Hills, please contact us if your child is experiencing dental pain or sensitivity.
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