Silver Diamine Fluoride, typically called “SDF” for short, is an alternative to fillings for kids. This non-invasive treatment uses a liquid mixture of ammonia, silver, fluoride, and water. When it’s applied to a tooth, the SDF mixture kills bacteria, seals the tooth, and prevents further decay and damage.
When it’s applied properly and in time, this completely halts the progression of a cavity, and allows your child’s baby tooth to be protected until it falls out naturally and is replaced by an adult tooth. SDF is fast, inexpensive, and non-invasive, so it’s a great filling alternative. Contact our Tigard dental team now to see if it’s right for your child.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is only used to treat cavities in baby teeth at The Smile Lounge. This is because it permanently stains and discolors the tooth, making it inappropriate for permanent, adult teeth.
To begin the process, Dr. Henderson will clean your child’s teeth, protect their gums, and dry the tooth area to make sure the SDF bonds properly to your child’s teeth.
Dr. Henderson will gently apply a very small amount of SDF to the cavity, taking care to avoid touching the other teeth. Once the SDF is applied, it will be dried using a gentle flow of compressed air.
While not always necessary, we usually recommend a full-mouth fluoride treatment after SDF. This helps protect your child’s other teeth from cavities and decay, and takes only a few minutes from our Tigard dental office.
SDF is up to 90% effective with one application. However, it may be necessary to come back to our office in 2-4 weeks so that Dr. Henderson can ensure the cavity’s progression has been halted. Reapplication may be necessary in some situations.
This depends on the extent of the cavity and your child’s oral health. Typically, the SDF treatment will last somewhere between 3-12 months, after which time it will be re-applied to ensure the cavity does not get bigger.
SDF treatment will need to continue until your child’s baby tooth falls out naturally, so your child may need periodic touch-ups for a few years. However, the process is quick and easy, and can be done as part of your little one’s six-month teeth cleaning and oral exam, making it very convenient.
Yes. There’s no substitute for good at-home oral hygiene. SDF is a powerful way to prevent cavities from getting worse, but if your child doesn’t brush their teeth at home properly, decay can still affect the treated tooth and cause the SDF treatment to fail.
Make sure that your child is brushing and flossing properly after they get SDF from Dr. Henderson at The Smile Lounge, and bring them in for routine six-month teeth cleanings and oral exams. This is the best way to protect their oral health.
It is important to bring your child in for dental care from an early age to ensure their teeth are healthy and to set them up for long term dental success. However, if those early dental visits are filled with intimidating restorative procedures, your child may end up developing dental anxiety. To avoid this, our Tigard dental team put an emphasis on creating positive dental experiences early on. By using silver diamine fluoride, which is a painless, easy treatment, we can slowly build trust with your child and show them that coming to the dentist doesn't have to be painful or scary.