Everything You Must Know about Silver Diamine Fluoride

Everything You Must Know about Silver Diamine Fluoride

Jul 01, 2022

A liquid substance helpful for preventing dental cavities or carries from developing and spreading to other teeth is called Silver diamine fluoride. SDF comprises silver to help kill bacteria, water providing a liquid base for the combination, fluoride helping your teeth rebuild materials in a process called remineralization, and ammonia, which helps the solution remain concentrated, making it maximally effective.

Approximately eight decades ago, Japan used SDF, but the US FDA approved SDF for use in the country in 2014. SDF is classified as a Class II medical instrument indicating it only carries slight risks. It is available in some stores for home use but is commonly and safely used in SDF dental clinics.

The Use of Silver Diamine Fluoride

Most dentists, including the dentist in Tampa, uses SDF in a liquid form containing at least 38 percent of the solution. SDF is applied topically, indicating its application happens to the surface of your teeth.

Dentists use the following steps when applying SDF to your teeth:

  • Placement of cotton or gauze near the affected teeth helps prevent saliva from moistening them.
  • A vacuum suction pool helps remove moisture from the tooth surface.
  • Application of SDF happens in the area affected by a cavity.

The dentist’s office near me might also use the following when applying SDF to mask the sites affected by cavities. They might use glass ionomers, opaquer, or crowns for the masking.

Areas affected by cavities are the most familiar recipients of SDF. However, research reveals silver diamine fluoride is just as adequate when used as a preventive measure by applying it to healthy tooth surfaces. Furthermore, dentists don’t need to treat cavities with fillings or other surface modification techniques before applying SDF.

Conventionally many dentists use fluoride varnish to help stop the growth of cavities. Fortunately, silver diamine fluoride has proven as much more successful in reducing cavity growth than fluoride varnish. Therefore, over time you need fewer treatments with SDF than fluoride varnish.

No set numbers are available for applying SDF to work effectively. However, most dentists apply SDF yearly compared to fluoride varnish needing four or more applications every year.

How Does Silver Diamine Fluoride Benefit Oral Hygiene?

  • SDF is widely influential in helping stop cavity growth after it has formed. The process is called caries resonance by dentists.
  • SDF kills the bacteria breaking down tooth surfaces while preventing them from spreading to the neighboring teeth.
  • Dentists often suggest SDF as an alternative to drilling cavities. SDF is specifically helpful to children or adults with dental anxiety or facing challenges when engaging in dental procedures like patients with special needs.
  • If you are overly sensitive to the dental instruments and substances used when treating cavities, SDF can function as an effective cavity treatment.
  • Applying SDF is quick and doesn’t require special equipment. Therefore if you find it difficult to schedule dental appointments or want to prevent cavities entirely, SDF can help you keep them to a minimum or succeed in helping achieve your goal.

What Are the Costs of Silver Diamine Fluoride?

A presentation made by the Association of State and territorial dental districts revealed the average price of a single treatment is $ 75 indicating the cost equals to $ 20-$ 25 per tooth.

You might receive coverage for SDF from some health insurance plans or be eligible for FSA’s from some healthcare providers because of its classification as a Class II medical instrument.

Several states now offer Medicaid plans to cover SDF treatments. An increasing number of state legislatures have proposed or are considering including SDF in Medicaid and various government-sponsored health care plans.


Silver diamine fluoride is a safe and painless alternative to conventional cavity drilling procedures. However, your dentist might not recommend SDF to deal with every case of cavities. In addition, SDF is not currently widely available as similar treatments like fluoride varnish.

However, silver diamine fluoride is proven highly successful in preventing the development and spread of cavities. In addition, more effective forms that don’t leave black stains on the teeth are being tested for their authenticity.

With time you might notice many dentists offer SDF as a preventive measure against the development and growth of cavities. However, until the moment arrives, you must continue the battle against cavities yourself by maintaining proper dental hygiene and getting fluoride treatments from your dentist.

If you want to prevent the growth and spread of cavities on your teeth, Wang and Cortes Dental provide silver diamine fluoride treatments. Kindly schedule an appointment with this practice to receive an application of SDF over your teeth.

Our goal is to provide comprehensive dental care in Tampa, and we are accepting patients across the neighborhood including: