Low-Cost Liquid Tames Tooth Decay

March 05, 2024

An inexpensive, cavity-fighting liquid called silver diamine fluoride (SDF) works as well as dental sealants to keep tooth decay at bay in a school cavity prevention and treatment program, according to a new study by researchers at NYU College of Dentistry. Dental cavities are the most prevalent chronic disease in children and can lead to pain, school absences, and lower academic performance. To prevent cavities, especially among children less likely to see a dentist, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supports the use of school sealant programs. In sealant programs, dental professionals visit schools to apply a thin, protective coating to the surface of teeth that hardens and safeguards against decay. Originally approved by the FDA for treating tooth sensitivity, the solution is brushed onto the surface of teeth, killing decay-causing bacteria and remineralizing teeth to prevent further decay.

An inexpensive, cavity-fighting liquid called silver diamine fluoride (SDF) works as well as dental sealants to keep tooth decay at bay in a school cavity prevention and treatment program, according to a new study by researchers at NYU College of Dentistry. 

The study, which followed more than 4,000 elementary school students for four years and is published in JAMA Pediatrics, shows that SDF is an effective alternative to sealants, and can increase access to dental care while reducing costs.

Dental cavities are the most prevalent chronic disease in children and can lead to pain, school absences, and lower academic performance. To prevent cavities, especially among children less likely to see a dentist, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supports the use of school sealant programs. In sealant programs, dental professionals visit schools to apply a thin, protective coating to the surface of teeth that hardens and safeguards against decay.

SDF has emerged as another promising treatment for fighting cavities. Originally approved by the FDA for treating tooth sensitivity, the solution is brushed onto the surface of teeth, killing decay-causing bacteria and remineralizing teeth to prevent further decay.

“A growing body of research shows that SDF—which is quicker to apply and less expensive than sealants—can prevent and arrest cavities, reducing the need for drilling and filling,” said Richard Niederman, DMD, professor of epidemiology & health promotion at NYU College of Dentistry and the study’s senior author.

The source of this news is from New York University

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