Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is an antibiotic liquid.  We can use it on cavities to help stop tooth decay.  Application every 6-12 months may be necessary.

Treatment with SDF does not eliminate the need for dental fillings  or crowns to repair function or esthetics.  Additional procedures will incur a separate fee. 

The procedure: 1) Dry the affected area, 2) Place a small amount of SDF on affected area, 3. Allow SDF to dry for one minute.  4. Rinse

Your child should not be treated with SDF if: 1) They are allergic to silver   2. There are painful sores or raw areas on the gums or anywhere in the mouth.


Benefits of SDF:

SDF can help stop tooth decay.

SDF may help delay restorative treatment of your child’s teeth until they are old enough to cooperate for treatment.


Risks related to SDF include but are not limited to:

  • The affected area will stain black permanently.  Healthy tooth structure will not stain.  Stained tooth structure may be replaced later with a filling or a crown, though ideal esthetics of the filling may be compromised by the dark underlying color.
  • Tooth colored fillings and crowns may discolor if SDF is applied to them.  Color changes on the surface can normally be polished off.  The edge between the tooth and the filling may keep the color.
  • If accidently 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 1-3 weeks.
  • Your child may notice a metallic taste that will go away rapidly.
  • If tooth decay is not arrested, the decay will progress.  In that case the tooth will require further treatment, such as repeat SDF, a filling or crown, root canal treatment or extraction.
  • Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure the success of SDF treatment.  There is a risk that the procedure will not stop the decay and no guarantee of success is granted or implied.

Good oral hygiene and diet are still required to prevent new cavities and minimize risk of decay progression.


Alternative to SDF, not limited to the following:

No treatment, which may lead to continued deterioration of tooth structures and cosmetic appearance.  Symptoms may increase in severity.

Depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay, other treatment may include placement of fluoride varnish, a filling or crown, extraction.