At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, we strive to provide our young patients with exceptional dental care tailored to their needs. Dr. Nadia Bala and Dr. Greg Allen are pleased to offer silver diamine fluoride, or SDF, a quick and painless way to stop the progression of tooth decay. This non-invasive alternative treatment provides an excellent solution to buy us time until your child is ready to receive traditional dental treatment, such as tooth-colored fillings or dental crowns.
What Is Silver Diamine Fluoride?
SDF is a colorless liquid containing two main active ingredients: silver and fluoride. Silver has antimicrobial properties, eliminating bacteria in the cavity and preventing the formation of biofilm. Fluoride, on the other hand, helps strengthen the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay. It also helps decrease tooth sensitivity and helps remineralize teeth, which reverses early decay and prevents cavities from getting worse. Together, the powerful cavity fighters help stop tooth decay in its tracks, which can help prevent the need for further treatment or sedation for your child.
Who Is a Candidate for Silver Diamine Fluoride?
Candidates for SDF include the following:
- Children with extensive baby tooth decay and are too young for sedation
- Children with hypomineralized enamel where traditional fillings will not stick
- Children whose decayed primary teeth are about to fall out
- Children at a higher risk for cavities
- Children with high anxiety levels
- Children with special healthcare needs
- Children with behavioral challenges
- Children who have severe grinding habits that may chip traditional fillings
- Young children who cannot sit still long enough for traditional treatment
Keep in mind that SDF is not ideal for children with silver allergies, deep decay, tooth pulp damage, mouth sores, advanced gum disease, spontaneous tooth pain, or larger cavities at risk of developing an infection.
How Is Silver Diamine Applied?
The SDF application process usually takes two visits, at least two weeks apart. It is quick and painless, and with good oral hygiene habits and a healthy diet, SDF gives your child more time to mature and be able to tolerate traditional treatment.
During the first visit, Dr. Nadia Bala or Dr. Greg Allen will apply Vaseline around the lips and then use a small brush or floss to apply the SDF, which will penetrate the cavity. During a follow-up visit, they will evaluate the progress of treatment and determine whether your little one requires additional SDF applications.
Does Silver Diamine Fluoride Have Limitations?
SDF is not a long-term tooth restoration solution like tooth-colored fillings. Even though it helps stop cavities from worsening, it does not restore the treated tooth to its natural form and will require a traditional restoration when your child is ready.
SDF has proven safe and effective with no serious side effects or reactions, even when used on young children. Its main drawbacks are that it leaves black stains on the decayed or damaged tooth structure, and it has a very sour taste. If SDF touches the skin, it can cause temporary staining for a few days, which is why we place a Vaseline barrier ahead of time. The ease of treatment and its effectiveness at halting the progression of tooth decay make SDF an excellent temporary option for some of our young patients.
Silver Diamine Fluoride Near Me in San Marcos, California
If you'd like to learn more about our quick and painless SDF treatments, contact Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos to schedule a consultation. Dr. Nadia Bala or Dr. Greg Allen will be happy to evaluate your little one's unique needs and recommend the ideal solution to stop cavities in their tracks. You can always count on our kid-friendly team for compassionate, gentle care.
Looking for exceptional care from the best pediatric dentists in San Marcos? We invite you to call 760-798-2825 to schedule your child's appointment or complete our online appointment request form today!
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