Silver Diammine Fluoride is a topical fluoride that can assist the arrest of tooth decay in children simply with a brush-on treatment. Much has changed about the knowledge of tooth decay and we are on the front lines of this change. Just this year we have almost entirely eliminated our in-office use of sedation/anesthesia.
Sedation/anesthesia is too risky for a non life threatening condition like early to moderate stage tooth decay. Recent problems, and deaths from sedation is telling all of us to rethink what we are doing to combat the effects. It is widely recognized now that the bacteria of the mouth are normal, that we all have the same oral bacteria, it is not an infection and not infectious, despite decades of telling patients that. We must relearn this problem, and we have at DrJ.
If you have a child with diagnosed decay you owe it to yourself to find out about this FDA approved topical treatment and how it is saving children from the risk and expense of sedation/anesthesia.
The use of SDF requires that the patient visit the office more frequently to assess the status of their treated/disclosed decay. The use of SDF also requires a major change in the hygiene habits of the patient. SDF is not a cure it is a treatment and all treatments require patients and parents to change. Dentists must change too, we have to stop believing that our fillings and crowns are anything more than a treatment, they are not cures either.
Knowledge changes and so should people. It is also in my experience that getting a second opinion is paramount. If primary tooth decay is not able to be treated with SDF it also means the tooth should be extracted. This is how other developed nations manage this problem.
A majority of the belief that health of the primary teeth determines the health of the adult teeth is not based in evidence. Tooth decay doesn’t spread from the primary dentition to the adult dentition, the reason is because tooth decay is not an infectious disease. The alignment of the primary teeth does not insure against misalignment later, and while genetics plays a part in tooth decay it isn’t the reason why teeth become decayed. The single biggest reason why children get decay is because the parent is not cleaning the teeth properly from the eruption of the first tooth and for the following 18 months following.
The evidence today says to treat decay without removing it. Go figure.
Treat it, seal it in, increase home hygiene with parental supervision, cut down on eating processed foods too frequently.
Get a second opinion from someone who practices with the science not against it. You cannot drill out of this problem…