Most people are familiar with the use of fluoride in dentistry. Fluoride (sodium fluoride) is commonly used in dentistry to strengthen the outer layer of your teeth to help prevent cavities. It is also used in toothpaste and mouthwash. Sodium fluoride has been used for years by dentists around the world.

Perhaps you have heard about this new dental service, Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF). Used internationally for decades it was recently approved for use in the US in 2014 by the FDA. Dentistry at The Biltmore has found SDF to be an effective medication to treat caries (cavities), particularly for children.

What’s the difference between Sodium Fluoride and Silver Diamine Fluoride?

Sodium fluoride is topically applied as a varnish to prevent dental caries. Silver Diamine Fluoride, however, when applied directly to cavities, stops the progress of an already formed cavity in permanent and primary teeth. It can still be used as a preventive measure when applied to healthy tooth surfaces.

SDF a combination therapy. As the name silver diamine implies, SDF is a solution containing silver. Silver has antibiotic properties which have been used for years to fight dental infections. Silver attacks dental caries causing bacteria directly alongside the fluoride. SDF is near twice the strength of 5% sodium fluoride varnishes used in primary care.

Why silver diamine fluoride is great for kids

Most children love food or drinks that contain a lot of sugar or starches. Such foods expose them to acid attacks on the enamel of the teeth. The repeated cycles of acid cause their teeth to lose minerals and cavities can form. Caries can affect children’s growth and development because of reduced food intake as chewing is painful.

Silver diamine fluoride can both prevent cavities from forming and stop ones that have already started. SDF has been proven effective in inhibiting caries and can be used to treat primary teeth caries in children, particularly children that aren’t very cooperative.

It is important for children (as well as adults) to visit the dentist at least twice a year. Doing so gives us a chance to both use preventive dentistry before your child’s cavities form or to arrest the development of them. The problem often is, many children are afraid of going to the dentist (as well as many adults).

If you have a child that has never been to the dentist before and has cavities, we can apply it to the teeth that have cavities and slow the progress. At the same time making their first visit to the dentist easy and not so scary. Because all we’re doing is using a small brush to apply the SDF and not scary dental tools such as a drill!

Dentistry at The Biltmore’s silver diamine fluoride treatment is an easy, cost-effective, and simple procedure that directly inhibits and prevents the development of caries. Applying it on primary teeth caries directly arrest caries allowing children with that had difficulties in chewing, eating, to improve their quality of life.

SDF – Not just for kids

We don’t want to make it sound like Silver Diamine Fluoride treatment is just for children. Teenagers to adults can benefit from SDF. Anyone wanting to avoid the anxiety of getting dental restorations, or waiting until they are ready, can benefit.

And to note, SDF is also important for elderly patients, who often at a certain point in their life their home care isn’t so good.

Maybe they have arthritis or they are losing the ability to brush their teeth or floss or keep things clean. If their health isn’t great it may be best to avoid anything that is involved with a drill or any kind of trauma.

Dentistry at The Biltmore is a family practice. We are here to help everyone from pediatric patients to grandma and grandad. Silver Diamine Fluoride treatment is not to be just a cure-all for any dental problem. It is just one tool in our belt in an overall plan of dental health for our patients.

Make an appointment today

Dentistry at The Biltmore is dedicated to the oral health and well-being of our patients. We utilize the latest technologies like Silver Diamine Fluoride combined with proven methodologies to deliver quality care in a comfortable environment. Contact us to learn more or make an appointment for an initial exam. We look forward to seeing your smile!