Silver Diamine Fluoride: Funny name, fantastic cavity-fighting prowess

Nearly 60% of Nebraska kids will have experienced tooth decay by the time kindergarten rolls around. At Innovative Dental Care, we enjoy working with children and love keeping their smiles happy and healthy! Our dentist, Dr. Summer, has many tools at her disposal to maintain the teeth’ structure, health, and function. She can also proactively halt the progression of conditions such as tooth decay with services like the application of Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF).

SDF explained 

Silver Diamine Fluoride is an antibacterial solution. It can be applied quickly and non-invasively during regular hygiene appointments or dental check-ups. The FDA-approved formulation is brushed onto the affected, damaged tooth structure as a liquid. SDF is formulated with silver to kill harmful bacteria. Fluoride is incorporated to rebuild the coating of the teeth. Enamel, in turn, functions like “armor” to protect the tooth. Water and ammonia are also incorporated into the SDF solution as a base for the formulation and to concentrate the active ingredients. Concentrated SDF allows for maximum cavity prevention and decay-fighting effectiveness.

Consider how tooth enamel can be degraded by bacterial plaque. As minerals are lost from the tooth, it can become weak. Weakened enamel makes the tooth vulnerable to damage. Enamel erosion is also the first step in the decay process. So, at Innovative Dental Care, we will want to resolve this condition as soon as possible to prevent decay from progressing. Without treatment, cavities or holes in the tooth’s surface can form. These areas would then need to be treated with dental restorations such as fillings.

Dr. Summer may apply SDF to baby teeth. These primary teeth are essential to ensuring the proper development and positioning of the adult teeth. So, SDF allows for healthy growth – for the baby teeth to fall out on schedule and for adult teeth to take their place on a healthy, normal schedule. Alternately, SDF may be recommended to stave off further damage until more permanent restorations (such as fillings) can be placed.

We can also advise on proper care following the quick and easy application of SDF. A second round of solution may be brushed on during a follow-up appointment. We’ll also advise on using rinses such as ACT® and other cleaning techniques and products to complement SDF and get your kiddo’s smile back on the right track.

Not just for the kids! 

Yes, we use SDF on “grown-ups,” too. Many adult patients may develop new challenges to their oral health for the first time. These challenges can be brought on by new conditions that develop as they age or by the medications used to treat them. For instance, dry mouth is associated with hundreds of different medicines. Since saliva is a natural cleanser, dry mouth is a risk factor for tooth decay.

Like with our pediatric patients, SDF presents a fast and cost-effective way for us to resolve early-stage or initial decay among adult patients. Other professional preventive services, such as dental sealants complement SDF supplementation. These services can be combined to help patients of all ages avoid more invasive, costly, and time-consuming treatments (like fillings and other dental restorations).

Why “restore” when you can “prevent”?

Heightened sensitivity, especially to sweet foods or cold drinks. Dark spots or pitted areas. Discomfort when biting down. These and other conditions can all be symptomatic of tooth decay that requires prompt intervention. Do not wait for such changes to occur. Call (402) 933-8005 promptly to schedule an appointment at Innovative Dental Care. We can resolve existing problems to prevent future ones and preserve your and your child’s healthy, beautiful smile!