Until recently, drilling and filling has been the primary form of treatment for caries or “cavities” in the United States. In July, The New York Times published an article announcing that the FDA has approved an antimicrobial liquid that can be applied with a brush to infected teeth called silver diamine fluoride.
Silver diamine fluoride is a odorless colorless liquid that is applied for a period of one to two minutes to an isolated tooth with a micro brush. It’s a non-invasive therapeutic agent that can be used to arrest small areas of decay in your child’s mouth, by killing the bacteria and hardening the surface. The liquid has been used to treat dental decay in many foreign countries for nearly a century.
This product sounds amazing right? Well, it’s amazing but there’s one big catch, it turns the areas of decay dark brown or black, as shown in the photo. Application must be done carefully as it can permanently stain clothing and temporarily stain skin if mis-handled. However, it is extremely safe if applied by a trained professional and can prevent your child from going through restorative procedures.
This is not a perfect option, it will create unpleasant staining every time. But can be effective in treating dental decay without a drill. Especially if the child has small cavities in the front or back molars of their baby teeth.
We have started using silver diamine fluoride in the office and encourage anyone who’s interested in it to please ask one of the dentists at our office if it’s right for your child.