Silver Diamine Fluoride


Silver Diamine Fluoride Facts

Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is an antibiotic liquid medication that helps stop tooth decay. SDF is applied to cavities and then again within a month of the first application and then every 6 months.

A small amount of SDF is applied to the decayed tooth area.

After SDF application, no eating or drinking for 60 minutes and no tooth brushing until the following morning.

The decayed area will stain black permanently

Healthy tooth structure will not stain.

We will not use SDF in a patient allergic to silver or if there are painful sores or raw areas on gums or anywhere in the mouth.

Benefits of receiving SDF

  • Helps stop tooth decay fast
  • Comfortable to apply
  • No numbing needed

Risks of receiving SDF

  • The affected area will stain black permanently.
  • Black stain means SDF is working.
  • Tooth-colored fillings and crowns may discolor if SDF is applied to them.
  • After SDF treatment, a filling or crown might still be needed.
  • If accidentally applied to the skin or gums, a brown or white stain may appear that causes no harm, cannot be washed off and will disappear in one to three weeks.
  • Permanent dark spots if spilled on clothing.
  • Allergic reaction.
  • Risk that the procedure will not stop the decay.
  • Not every cavity can be treated with SDF.

Alternatives to SDF

  • No treatment, which may lead to continued break down of the tooth. Symptoms may get worse.
  • Placement of fillings or crowns, extractions or referral to another specialist or provider.