Silver Diamine Fluoride Treatment to Stop Tooth Decay
We are one of the first and few dental offices in Arizona to offer this revolutionary treatment option for the management of tooth decay. Silver Diamine Fluoride is an antimicrobial liquid that is able to treat cavities in a non-invasive, fast, affordable, and painless manner.
Some patients who have active tooth decay may be eligible for an alternative treatment that uses Silver Diamine Fluoride. FDA approved in August of 2014, SDF became commercially available to dental professionals in April of 2015 as Advantage Arrest by Elevate Oral Care. Compared to a traditional filling that requires shots of local anesthetic and drilling of tooth structure, this treatment is non-invasive and more comfortable for the patient. It is a liquid that is simply brushed on to the cavity that can stop current decay and also prevent new decay in the future.
What’s more interesting is that fact that the use of silver diamine fluoride to treat cavities is nothing new. Reports of its use date back to the 1800’s. It has been widely used to treat decay in Japan for 80 years. G.V. Black, revered as the ‘Father of Modern Dentistry,’ regularly used silver nitrate to treat cavities in children. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that this method seemingly vanished from popular use in the US, which coincides with the development of better anesthesia options to make dentistry “painless” and the addition of fluoride toothpastes and tap water with the promise of eradicating tooth decay. In fact, the use of Silver Diamine Fluoride is not part of the majority of current dental school curriculum. Unfortunately, tooth decay remains the number one most common disease of childhood, five times more common than asthma. Readily available snacks, frequent consumption of sugary and acidic beverages, bottled water without fluoride, infrequent or delayed trips to the dentist have all contributed to nearly one third of Arizona’s children having a cavity by age three. More than half have experienced a cavity by kindergarten. This problem is not unique to our state and has prompted forward thinking dentists to rethink our approach to managing tooth decay. Oregon’s Medicaid system and the University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry have been instrumental in bring SDF back to the table for dentists to offer their patients. This technique is very exciting for young, fearful or pre-cooperative children, special needs patients, and medically compromised individuals who may otherwise require sedation for traditional dental restorations such as fillings or crowns. It is also a great option for nursing home bound elderly patients, those that lack access to care, and those individuals without dental insurance or the funds to afford traditional dental restorations.
To read more evidence based articles on the mechanisms and benefits of SDF, please click on the following links;
Dr. Jeanette MacLean of Affiliated Children’s Dental Specialists in Glendale, Arizona demonstrates the SMART Filling technique using Advantage Arrest silver diamine fluoride (SDF) and Fuji glass ionomer cement (GIC). This is a quick, painless alternative to ‘drill and fill’ for the parents of young, apprehensive children with cavities who wish to avoid or delay drills, shots, sedation or general anesthesia for their treatment.