What is it and is right for your child?
Know more about this new and innovative dental treatment option. Is your little one a good candidate for this treatment and will it help control the decay in his/ her baby teeth?
You may have seen the gaping holes in your child’s teeth and you have gotten worried! Right?
Is the problem that your child is young and is refusing to receive dental treatment! Screaming and kicking on the dental chair and you wish you had been given an alternative treatment!
No need to panic your pediatric dentist has many tools in the tool box. One of them may just be the solution to help the horrible decay process stop in your child’s little mouth.
Just read on…
What is Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)?
Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a new-found treatment modality that treats dental cavities and stops new cavities from forming. SDF liquid consists of three basic components: Silver, Fluoride, and Water. What makes silver effective in treating cavities in children is because of its strong antimicrobial property. It attacks “Decay Causing Bactria”.
If you remember from this blog: Baby Bottle Tooth Decay: All you need to know! baby bottle tooth decay happens only as a result of bacteria (and of course sugar).
How Does SDF work?
In simple terms, SDF actually stops the progression of the disease process by stopping bacterial activity!
Since it fights the root cause of the problem- which is the bacteria it is considered as some sort of magic recent innovation in the field of pediatric dentistry and child dental care.
Even more importantly after killing those vicious bacteria, SDF hardens the tooth and prevents any future decay! Wohooo win …win!
SDF applied? How?
Your child’s dentist will do a thorough tooth cleaning or prophylaxis!
After application of SDF onto dry tooth surfaces, the dentist may choose to seal the tooth with a sealant (a glass ionomer restoration) or only use fluoride varnish application.
For more about fluoride varnishes and it’s advantages please read this blog: Fluoride Varnish: All you need to Know!
The great news is this entire process is super-fast takes around a few minutes tops and is completely painless-no drilling no injections and no need for sedation or the laughing gas either!
When to use SDF?
The important question is when is it a good treatment option?
Let me give you a few examples of when a dentist for children would advocate this treatment.
- A child with excessive decay that is spreading like wildfire.
- A very young child who refuses dental treatment on the dental chair and is not a good candidate for dental rehabilitation under general anesthesia (dental surgery for toddlers)
- A child with extreme dental phobia and until his trust is won, the decay process needs to be halted
- A child of Determination or a Child with Special Health Care Needs who again has a barrier to receiving dental care or treatment in a clinic.
- Children who have multiple cavities that are active with a prolonged proposed treatment time and there is risk of pain from infected baby teeth happening in the near future.
Is SDF safe?
American Dental Association advocates using SDF in the States! More importantly it was approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and released to be used as a dental material indicated for severe cases of tooth decay or baby bottle tooth decay as they used to call it (also known as early childhood caries).
When is SDF NOT an option?
- When your child has metal allergies.
- Also when the cavity is approaching the nerve of the tooth or has already exposed the nerve.
What are the benefits of SDF?
Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) has many benefits:
- Takes Fast treatment time.
- Can prevent cavity.
- Can stop tooth decay.
- Relieves tooth sensitivity.
What should you ABSOLUTELY KNOW before the application of SDF?
Unfortunately, there is always a down side to everything.
- SDF discolors decay: With SDF, there is a certain type of tooth stain that is possible. This tooth stain is the evidence that this treatment is working. However, it does leave the decayed part of the tooth discolored.
- SDF may discolor dental fillings as well: the area with decay stain black. Healthy tooth will not stain. But your dentist can replace decayed restorations with new ones to take away that color.
- SDF may cause harmless temporary brown/ white stain when it is applied to skin or gums. The stain will disappear in a few days or even one to three weeks.
- Your child may notice a metallic taste after the application. This will go away fast.
There is a risk that SDF may not stop the decay, and the success can’t be guaranteed. If the tooth decay is not controlled by other preventative efforts advised by the pediatric dentist at home, there is a risk that decay will progress. Therefore, the specialist in pediatrics will advise of frequent follow ups and recalls to monitor its progress and make sure the decay has stopped progressing.
SDF definitely delays extensive dental restorations, dental crowns or even fillings for baby teeth until the child is a bit older and allows for proper treatment and examination.
What are the alternative Treatments That Can Help?
Silver diamine fluoride is just one among other treatments which is available to help fight tooth decay. There are other options of traditional treatments which strengthen your children’s teeth.
In short, Silver Diamine Fluoride is a very safe and effective option for children’s teeth treatment that can help your child maintain a healthy smile for life. Book your appointment online today with Dr.Yasmin Kottait. Always ready to serve your child in our pediatric dentistry clinic in Dubai Health Care City
“To a lifetime of healthy happy smiles!”