Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)

  • The use of Silver Diamine Fluoride in dentistry has been well documented for its safe and successful ability to help arrest tooth decay.  Its application is a conservative approach for the treatment of active decay.  Dr. Jackson can discuss if this is a good option for your child’s care.  

  • The initial application of 38% Silver Diamine Fluoride will be applied to appropriate teeth in very small amounts using a micro brush or by flossing it between the affected teeth.

  • We offer and recommend a second application, free of charge. 


  • Silver Allergy (very rare)

Possible Side Effects:

  • When Silver Diamine Fluoride has been applied, the treated place on the tooth that has decay will turn dark (usually black). This is an indication that the decay in the tooth is arresting/remineralizing.

  • If Silver Diamine Fluoride comes in contact with skin and/or gums, temporary dark discoloration will occur, but will go away as the skin rejuvenates.  Our team takes precautions such as applying Vaseline to and around the lips, and using a patient napkin to protect clothing. 

  • If Silver Diamine Fluoride is placed on a tooth that has a tooth colored restoration or demineralized enamel (white lesions), discoloration may occur.   

When do we use SDF?

1) To help reverse cavities, but also sometimes 2) to delay needing to treat a tooth that may or may not need a restoration later.  SDF will only work with amazing homecare and attention to diet and snacking.  We are putting mineral back into the tooth with SDF, but the process that caused the cavity in the first place has to be stopped as well.  Great brushing, flossing and using prescription strength toothpaste will increase the effectiveness of the SDF and lower the chance of needing a traditional restoration in the future.

What to do at home to make it work:

Please only drink water between meals and minimize snacking. When snacking, avoid carbohydrates. The natural bacteria in our mouths produce acid from carbs preventing you from remineralizing (reversing) the cavity. See our suggested snack list for the best snack options. 

Reversing cavities between teeth:

Teeth must be flossed twice a day, in addition to brushing after meals.  The surfaces we are treating must stay clean, or more mineral loss (the cavities) will continue. We also recommend leaving a pinhead amount of prescription strength toothpaste in the treated area overnight. We will show you how little to use.