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When looking after your child's dental well-being, the traditional route of drilling and filling cavities isn't anyone's favorite. However, a modern, growing choice among parents and dentists to combat childhood tooth decay is the use of silver diamine fluoride (SDF)—a compelling alternative.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a dental treatment specifically beneficial in pediatric dentistry for children dealing with dental cavities and tooth decay. SDF effectively stops the progression of cavities in their early stages by eliminating cavity-causing bacteria, remineralizing and strengthening tooth enamel, and reducing tooth sensitivity. Its non-invasive nature and painless application make it an ideal choice for young children, particularly those with dental anxiety.
Silver Diamine Fluoride was first introduced in Japan in the 1960s and has been used worldwide for decades to combat dental decay.
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Most children are terrified of the dentist’s office because of the needles and sharp, pointy instruments dentists use during treatment. Fortunately, silver diamine fluoride treatment is completely non-invasive. All the dentist does is apply the solution to your child’s teeth with a small brush until the surfaces are completely covered. The process is painless and takes no more than three minutes.
Dentists apply silver diamine fluoride on the teeth to form a protective barrier against cavity-causing bacteria. This keeps your child’s enamel intact and prevents cavities that lead to dental decay. It also stops existing cavities in the teeth from growing bigger.
Silver Diamine Fluoride is one of the most affordable dental treatments available today, making it a great option for people on a tight budget. Once more, SDF treatment can save a bundle in future dental costs by preventing dental complications like tooth decay that may necessitate dental fillings or root canals to treat.
First, Dr. Sage will evaluate your child’s dental health, checking their teeth for cavities that require treatment. It’s worth noting that SDF only addresses minor cavities that don’t extend beyond the enamel. After identifying the areas with cavities, she’ll use a dental dam to isolate the affected tooth.
Next, our San Antonio pediatric dentist will use a toothbrush to clean plaque and debris from the teeth’s surface, creating a clean slate to apply the SDF. She’ll then use a small brush or applicator to apply the SDF, ensuring it covers the entire tooth’s surface. The characteristic dark color of SDF might stain your child’s teeth, but only temporarily.
The SDF solution stays on your child’s teeth for about a minute or two, enough time to penetrate the teeth and remineralize the decayed areas. Dr. Sage will then rinse the solution with water and sometimes use fluoride to neutralize any excess SDF.
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SDF treatment is still under review for most dental insurance companies. As such, most of them are reimbursing patients for their SDF payments and providing full coverage for the procedure. However, policies vary from one provider, and it’s vital to check with yours to be sure.
No, the SDF procedure is far from painful. The dentist will use a brush or applicator to apply the non-corrosive SDF solution to the enamel. Patients won’t feel anything and will be on their way home in as little as three minutes. However, there’s a tingling sensation when the solution touches the lips and tongue.