Thursday, June 13

Silver Diamine Fluoride Helping Children Deal With Painful Dental Procedures

At least one in five Americans has one or more cavities that are currently untreated. Sadly, those numbers could potentially be even higher among the nation’s youth population. Baby teeth begin to grow around 6 months, so the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends a trip to the dentist before your child’s first birthday.

For kids, going to the dentist for something as minor as a checkup can be a terrifying, traumatic experience. With all the sharp dental tools, scary face protectors, and loud noises, many kids would much prefer manual labor than spending a few minutes in a dentist’s chair. But unfortunately, children with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school as a result of tooth pain. Needless to say, professional dentistry is a necessity for people of all ages.

Thanks to a new dental breakthrough, however, kids are going to be able to have dental work done without the anxieties associated with painful dental drills.

According to, a new brush-on liquid allows kids to avoid the anguish of conventional dental drilling when it comes to fillings and similar treatments.

Dentists can now place a drop of a brush-on liquid solution called silver diamine fluoride (SDF) directly onto a cavity or infected tooth. Dentistry professionals have stated that the SDF approach not only has the potential to improve the dental experience for children but for individuals with special needs and anyone who cannot tolerate anesthesia or other intimidating pieces of dental equipment.

“Basically it works like an antibiotic on tooth decay,” said Kevin Earle, executive director of the Arizona Dental Association. “I think it is becoming more common and it is saving a lot of money. It will help to eliminate the prospects of kids having rampant decay in their mouths that would necessitate the use of sedation or anesthesia.”

Additionally, the California Dental Association (CDA) is leading the charge for this new painless approach to become commonplace within the national dentistry community.

CDA-sponsored legislation, Senate Bill 1148, passed its first round of Senate committee hearings. If the bill passes completely it would allow dentists who provide care in the Medi-Cal dental program to be reimbursed whenever they use SDF.

With the passage of the bill, SDF will subsequently be placed in dentists’ tool bests as a viable option to treat dental issues in order to help alleviate pain.

“We know that SDF is very effective and we should make it more widely available now,” added John Blake, DDS, CDA Government Affairs Council Chair.

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