Silver Diamine Fluoride
Cavities are a major issue affecting the teeth of millions of Americans. They form as a result of tooth decay. The bacteria that live in your mouth thrive on the sugars from foods and drinks you consume. As they eat, they produce harmful acids that erode the enamel, eventually leading to the formation of cavities. Regular brushing and flossing, along with biannual dental visits, are crucial for preventing cavities from forming. Ignoring dental hygiene can lead to a buildup of oral bacteria, and gives the acid enough to eat away at the enamel. Fluoride is a common treatment used to help strengthen the teeth and prevent cavities from forming. At Van Alstine Family Dentistry, we offer silver diamine fluoride.
What Is Silver Diamine Fluoride?
Silver diamine fluoride is an FDA approved liquid antibiotic. It is meant to be applied to the teeth to help control active cavities in the teeth as well as prevent their progression. This treatment helps to slow the process of decay and can be used as a tool to create better outcomes for patients. It is important to note that while silver diamine fluoride can slow decay, it cannot repair any affected functions or aesthetics to your teeth. Restorative treatments such as fillings, root canals or crowns may still be needed.
How Does It Work?
There are two main components in silver diamine fluoride, silver, and fluoride. The silver functions as an antibacterial agent. At the same time, it also works to strengthen the dentin of the teeth. The fluoride works to stop tooth decay and prevent new decay from forming. Before applying the treatment, we first clean and dry your teeth. The silver diamine fluoride is applied and left to cure for two minutes. It is recommended that you not eat or drink anything for an hour following the procedure.
Who Is A Candidate?
Candidates for silver diamine fluoride may be considered high risk for cavities. They may have several cavities that cannot all be treated in one single visit. The cavities may be too difficult to treat in one visit. You may be experiencing sensitivity due to hypersensitivity. Silver diamine fluoride may be recommended for children who have difficulty cooperating or who have severe tooth decay. It may also be recommended for patients with special needs.
Benefits Of Silver Diamine Fluoride
There are several benefits to silver diamine fluoride. It is a noninvasive treatment that is completely painless. The procedure is quick. Once the silver diamine fluoride is applied to the teeth, it only takes two minutes to cure. It provides effective cavity prevention and can also help to alleviate dentinal hypersensitivity.
Are There Any Risks?
There are some risks that are associated with silver diamine fluoride. First, it will stain any decay in the teeth, turning it black. The stained areas can then be corrected with fillings or crowns. If you already have restorations, the treatment may also stain them. Along with the teeth, silver diamine fluoride may temporarily stain the soft tissues of the mouth. It cannot be washed off, but it will disappear on its own in one to three weeks. You may notice a metallic taste after the application, but this should fade quickly. There is also a risk that the treatment may not stop current tooth decay. In this case, further treatments with silver diamine fluoride may be recommended, or you may be recommended for alternative treatments such as fillings, root canal therapy or an extraction of the affected tooth. Silver diamine fluoride should be avoided if you are allergic to silver, or if you have painful sores or raw patches on your gums or other soft tissues in your mouth.
Silver diamine fluoride is a safe, effective way to help maintain the health of your teeth and prevent the formation of cavities. For more information, call Van Alstine Family Dentistry at Van Alstine Family Dentistry Phone Number (734) 482-8500 today.