Silver Diamine Fluoride

What is silver diamine fluoride?

Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a liquid substance used to help prevent tooth cavities (or caries) from forming, growing, or spreading to other teeth.

What are the benefits of SDF?

There are many benefits to SDF.  The application procedure is non-invasive, painless, and fast.  This is especially helpful for patients that are young or have high dental anxiety and allows us to build trust and develop a plan for definitive treatment if indicated. 

Traditionally, many dentists have used a fluoride varnish to help stop cavity development. SDF has proven to be more successful at reducing cavity growth than varnish alone. SDF may also require fewer treatments over time.

What should I do if I'm interested in SDF as a treatment option for my child?

Please let our team know if you are interested in discussing SDF as a possible treatment option for your child. The doctor will evaluate your child's teeth in our Winston-Salem or Kernersville office and determine if he/she is a good candidate.  

 Who is a candidates for SDF?

  • Young children
  • Anxious children
  • Children with cavities on baby teeth that will fall out within the next few months 
  • Children with small, early cavities who want to take additional measures to prevent the cavity from growing or spreading to other teeth

Advantages of SDF

  • Easy application only takes 60 seconds
  • Comfortable and painless procedure
  • Does not require numbing

Disadvantages of SDF 

  • SDF will change the color of your child's cavity from an orange/yellow color to black.  The black indicates that the cavity has been arrested.
  • SDF is not a permanent solution.  The area will require re-application every 6-12 months for the cavity to remain arrested.  


How should I take care of my child after silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is placed?

  • Avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes, this will allow the SDF to fully penetrate the treatment site
  • The area with darken over the next 24 hours 
  • If the soft tissues, such as the cheek or surrounding gums, accidentally contact the SDF, they will darken.  This discoloration will go away completely within 10 days