Silver Diamine Fluoride

Maybe you have heard of it? A fair number of parents in our office are asking about silver diamine fluoride and how it might be used to treat tooth decay. Traditionally, when a tooth has a cavity, a dentist would recommend that the tooth be filled. In the field of pediatric dentistry, one can appreciate certain barriers to this recommendation such as behavioral issues due to age, limited cooperation, or special healthcare needs.

Silver diamine fluoride can be applied to cavities to help strengthen remaining tooth structure (fluoride) and to disinfect the site (silver). A noticeable side effect of the solution is unsightly discoloration. The cavity will turn black, which is very obvious when silver diamine fluoride is used to manage decay on the front teeth.

Current research reports that silver diamine fluoride stops nearly 70% of tooth decay with one application, and nearly 90% with two applications.  Please understand that stopping tooth decay DOES NOT mean that the cavity is gone. Tooth decay is a dynamic process that can still progress to pain and infection even after the solution is applied.

Dr. Perusini does support the use of silver diamine fluoride as part of an overall treatment plan in the management of early childhood caries. Like any proposed treatment, silver diamine fluoride has its limitations, and it may not be appropriate in certain situations. As always, Dr. Perusini will sit down with you to discuss the pros, cons, risks and benefits of the solution.


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