Silver Diamine Fluoride 38%

What Is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

Silver Diamine Fluoride 38% commonly known as SDF, is an incredible new way to treat certain cavities without the fear-inducing numbing and drilling we’re so used to! Silver Diamine Fluoride 38% is used at Foothills Dental as both a desensitizing agent on teeth without cavities and treatment of cavities in certain situations.

Our mouths have a lot of spots where cavities like to form. Exposed root surfaces, deep pits, food traps, indents in molars or even areas sensitive to hot and cold foods, are all areas that are high risk of developing cavities. Silver Diamine Fluoride 38% provides an antimicrobial biofilm resistance to the development of cavities in these high risk areas.

There’s a lot to unpack in that previous statement, so let’s break it down.

Antimicrobial materials are substances proven to reduce the presence of bacteria. In the mouth, we call these bacteria build-ups; plaque. A biofilm is a complex structure of different microbial materials that act like a Football defensive line against opposing and nasty bacteria.

The Silver Diamine Fluoride creates this defensive line in the mouth to greatly reduce the chances of plaque build-up that can cause cavities.

History of Silver Diamine Fluoride Surprisingly, the history of silver being used in dental care dates back to nearly 1,000 years! Silver, like present day crowns, were used for cosmetic purposed when teeth became blackened. We began to experiment with silver nitrate and fluoride teeth coatings in the mid 19 century. The combined solution of 25% silver and 5.5% fluoride that creates Silver Diamine Fluoride was approved and used in Japan in the 1970’s and was recently approved by the United States FDA in 2014. It’s been medically proven to stop bacteria carrying microbes 66% higher than any other active material.

How We Use Silver Diamine Fluoride For Kids

We mainly use SDF in the treatment of cavities amongst toddlers and kids that are fearful of getting cavities fixed the traditional way. Many kids do great with a traditional filling. However, some kids are scared by the sound of the drill, the vibration, or any of the other sensations associated with a standard filling. Traditional fillings that require the use of a drill, is what starts many kids to be afraid of going to the dentist. The last thing we want to do is create that fear. So, SDF is one of many tools in our bag to treat kids in a way that isn’t scary for them but still prevents cavities from getting worse.


Silver Diamine Fluoride and Tooth Sensitivity

Silver Diamine Fluoride has been proven to dramatically improve sensitivity to hot and cold foods, sweetened fruits, air and basically anything that teeth can be sensitive to. A huge benefit of SDF is that it improves sensitivity that is not due to a cavity but can mark an area of cavity development. This early mark and detection allows us to treat a cavity sooner than would otherwise be possible. Early detection means a smaller filling, less drilling, less time spent during the appointment and less cost.


Fluoride or Silver Diamine Fluoride. What’s The Difference?

Dentists have recommended Fluoride for years so Silver Diamine Fluoride might sound like it’s the same old thing. But there is a big difference. If you want to know more about that difference. The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC) developed a wonderful guide to understanding Fluoride Varnishes and Silver Diamine Fluoride. You can download their reference here.

However, the quick differences are

  • Standard fluoride varnishes act as only a preventive measure. SDF is both preventive and remedial, and treats sensitive teeth.
  • SDF helps detect cavities very early on.
  • Silver Diamine Fluoride is significantly better at stopping bacteria caries than standard fluoride.
  • Fewer than 30 percent of pediatric dentist offer SDF.
  • Do you have questions about SDF?

Let us know with a quick call at 208-522-1911 or visit us at 1655 Pancheri Dr. Idaho Falls, ID 83402.

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