SDF, or sodium diamine fluoride is a liquid antimicrobial that is applied at the dental office to stop the progression of small cavities. It is a conservative approach to managing dental decay. When applied to a cavity, it can remineralize, or strengthen the cavitated tooth structure. The procedure only takes a few minutes. It’s quick, and doesn’t require any anesthetic.
Although we usually manage cavities by removing the decay, and placing fillings, it’s not always possible. These are some situations that may benefit from the use of SDF:
SDF is used to control early cavities. SDF is not used for very deep cavities that are close to the innermost layer of the tooth (also known as the pulp), or if the tooth is painful. We also avoid using it where esthetics is a concern.
The main side effect is that SDF leaves a brown or black stain when it is applied to dental decay. However, it doesn’t stain healthy, sound enamel.
SDF should not be used on patients with silver allergies, or certain gum and soft tissue conditions.
No, SDF is different from the topical fluoride treatment you routinely get at dental cleaning appointments. The type of fluoride used at hygiene appointments is mainly aimed at preventing future cavities, not arresting existing ones. That type of fluoride does not leave a stain.
Still have questions? Contact Vivant Dental in Surrey today.
You’ve all heard of dental cavities, but what are they and how do they form? Dentist often refer to cavities and tooth decay as “dental caries”. Caries form over time when certain types of bacteria in your mouth consume sugars and turn them into acids that weaken the mineral structures in your teeth. This process is called “demineralization”.
Teeth are comprised of several layers. Enamel is the outermost layer, and also the hardest. If a cavity is small, and the demineralization is contained in the enamel layer, we may be able to use preventative measures instead of doing a filling. Brushing, flossing, and fluoride applications are examples of preventative measures that can be used while the tooth is monitored.
If the decay has extended past the enamel, we recommend restorative work, such as a fillings. If the loss of tooth structure is more extensive, crowns (commonly known as caps), and possibly root canal therapy may be needed to save the tooth. Unfortunately, if untreated, cavities can progress to a point where a tooth cannot be saved, and the tooth would have to be removed.
Yes. The tooth structure surrounding your fillings can still be demineralized. Brush, floss, and maintain your teeth even after getting fillings!
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Composite fillings are white-coloured dental restorations designed to be inconspicuous in appearance. Dentists can use composites to fill cavities or broken teeth. They blend in more naturally with surrounding teeth structure compared to silver-coloured amalgam fillings. Most dentists select composite materials in areas that are more noticeable when patients smile, such as the front teeth. Advancements in dental technology and composite filling composition allow for dentists to use these materials on molars as well.
that white-coloured composite fillings are chemically bonded to the teeth surfaces? This can preserve more natural teeth structure while enjoying a restoration that is discreet and understated.
You may be a candidate for a tooth-coloured filling if you have a cavity, broken tooth, or deteriorated filling. Schedule a dental assessment with Dr. Bellusci or Dr. Chow to find out if composite fillings are an option for your dental situation.
During your visit, Dr. Bellusci or Dr. Chow will numb your gums and teeth with a local anesthetic. Once the area around the tooth is anesthetized, your dentist will remove the decayed or damaged portion of your teeth and then place filling material on it. He or she then uses a hand-held light to harden the material. Finally, the dentist shapes, polishes and checks your filling.
You should be able to return to normal activity and oral home care once the numbing has worn out. Please inform us if you experience bite. It is normal to have some sensitivity to hot and cold in the days following treatment. This usually goes away on it’s own. However, please inform us of temperature sensitivity that persists beyond a week.