No one likes to hear that they have developed a cavity. Not only does a cavity compromise the health of your smile, but it can also mean having to get a filling, a procedure that can create anxiety and dread in children and adults alike.
While some fillings can’t be avoided, now there is another way to treat small cavities: silver diamine fluoride. Used outside the US for years, this effective treatment is now available at Merry Dental!
Keep reading to learn what silver diamine fluoride is and how it can help protect your teeth!
What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?
Silver diamine fluoride is a clear liquid solution that contains two active ingredients: silver ions and fluoride. When applied to a tooth, the silver ions penetrate the weak part of the tooth, plugging microscopic holes in the tooth’s enamel.
The fluoride helps to remineralize weak areas of the tooth. The silver ions in silver diamine fluoride also have antibacterial properties.
Once applied, the silver ions can continue to eliminate additional bacteria, giving the tooth long-lasting immunity from further decay.
What is Silver Diamine Fluoride Used For?
The primary use of silver diamine fluoride is for the treatment of cavities. It is used to prevent small cavities from worsening and spreading to surrounding teeth.
It is an especially effective treatment option for young children who still have their baby teeth, as well as people with special needs who might not tolerate a traditional filling procedure. It can also be used to treat small cavities in adults who want to delay getting a filling.
Over time, silver diamine fluoride will discolor the part of the tooth affected by decay. For that reason, it is best suited to treat teeth that will eventually come out, like baby teeth or teeth in the back of the mouth that are somewhat hidden.
It is important to note that while silver diamine fluoride can help control tooth decay, it does not repair or restore the affected tooth structure. Teeth treated with silver diamine fluoride may eventually need further treatment.
How is Silver Diamine Fluoride Applied?
The application of silver diamine fluoride is easy and painless. It simply involves applying the liquid to the affected tooth with a micro brush and then air-drying the tooth. Sometimes, a special light is used to cure the liquid, helping it to sink deeper into the tooth.
Unlike traditional fillings, there is no need to numb the area around the tooth to be treated, meaning no painful injections. Additionally, no drilling or other invasive treatment is needed prior to applying silver diamine fluoride.
What are the Advantages of Silver Diamine Fluoride Treatment?
Silver diamine fluoride has some real advantages over traditional cavity treatments:
The silver ions in silver diamine fluoride have antibacterial properties, which are effective at killing and inhibiting the growth of the bacteria that contribute to tooth decay. By reducing cavity-forming bacteria, silver diamine fluoride can help protect the long-term health of an affected tooth.
The fluoride in silver diamine fluoride is well-known for its ability to strengthen tooth enamel. When applied to a tooth, fluoride promotes remineralization, strengthening weakened enamel and making it more resistant to decay.
Because silver diamine fluoride is a non-invasive treatment, it doesn’t require any drilling or impact the underlying tooth structure. For these reasons, it can be an effective alternative for young children or adults who might otherwise resist or avoid dental treatment.
If you have a small cavity, silver diamine fluoride can give you an alternative to a traditional filling. With silver diamine fluoride, you can protect your dental health without any unnecessary anxiety and dread.
Do you want to learn more about silver diamine fluoride? Schedule an appointment at Merry Dental in Billerica, MA, today!