2421 Ford St, Golden, CO 80401

Silver Diamine Fluoride

What is silver diamine fluoride and why would a pediatric dentist recommend it?

Silver diamine fluoride is an alternative treatment that stops decay with noninvasive methods, mostly with young children that have baby teeth. Our pediatric dentists will clean and contain tooth/teeth and surrounding areas. A special brush is used to apply a clear liquid that is composed of two primary components, silver and fluoride. The silver is a anti-microbial agent that strengthens the underlying protective layer of your teeth called dentin. Fluoride is the active ingredient that puts a stop to tooth decay and helps prevent additional decay.

Silver diamine fluoride is fast, painless and easy. No drills or injections and is a non intimidating procedure. Two treatments per area are needed and we usually schedule these about a week apart. Although insurance doesn't cover this procedure, it is usually less out of pocket for parents then a restoration. This treatment will not eliminate the need for a restoration in the future to repair function, aesthetics or if more decay develops around treated area. Silver diamine fluoride will buy a young child time and when a young child gets older and more mature, a restoration can be performed. 

The down side is that decay treated areas turn black. Healthy tooth structure will not stain and stained areas can later be replaced with fillings or crowns when a child is at the point where he or she can tolerate this type of procedure. This office only applies silver diamine fluoride to baby teeth in the back of the mouth and not on front teeth. All efforts are made to ensure success of treatment but the risks are the procedure will not stop decay. If decay progresses, further silver diamine fluoride applications, dental fillings, root canal therapy or tooth extraction may be needed.


Children with a silver allergy or children with sores present in the mouth should not have this treatment. Our pediatric dentists will review all options that are best for your young child. As always, regular check ups and regular oral care at home are the best defense parents have in preventing cavities from forming in the first place. It is recommended to bring children in to see the dentist starting at one years old. Education, treatment and monitoring oral health are all keys to kiddos being free from tooth decay.