Patients are often afraid or nervous about going to the dentist, usually because of bad experiences with painful procedures. Even if a cavity needs to be filled, some patients tend to put off scheduling their appointment. Fortunately, an alternative treatment with Silver diamine fluoride is a painless option for dealing with cavities.
What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?
Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a liquid antibiotic that is used to help avert tooth cavities from forming, growing, or affecting other teeth. SDF can prevent the progression of a cavity, in addition to avoiding new cavities from forming when applied to a tooth with a cavity. SDF can be safely used for both adults and children; however, it is recommended for children to overcome their fears of dental procedures. Patients can have a pain-free experience during the treatment of cavities, as SDF does not require any numbing shots or drilling.
How Does Silver Diamine Fluoride Work?
SDF is composed of:
- Silver – aids in killing bacteria
- Fluoride – helps in remineralization of your teeth
- Water – delivers a liquid base for the mixture
- Ammonia – assists the solution in remaining concentrated in order to attain maximum efficacy against cavities
SDF has two modes of activity utilizing a blend of ingredients. Cavity-causing bacteria are exterminated, and formation of a new bacteria are prohibited due to the silver. Meanwhile, fluoride remineralizes and prevents further breakdown of the tooth.
Benefits of Silver Diamine Fluoride
There are many benefits of using Silver Diamine Fluoride, including:
- No drilling
- Inhibits or slows down the growth of cavities
- Requires only 30 seconds to paint a tooth
- Destroys decay-causing bacteria
Are there any side effects?
The side effects of SDF are reactions from acid or ammonia in patients that have silver allergy, major tooth decay, or advanced gum disease. There can also be staining at the treatment area.
Dr. Zwier offers the new innovative technique of SDF to patients to help treat cavities without the stress or anxiety. Contact our Grand Rapids office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zwier.