What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

Silver Diamine Fluoride also known as SDF is an antibiotic liquid used to slow down the progression of cavities and treat tooth sensitivity.


Who can benefit from SDF?

Patients who are at high risk for decay:

  • Exposed root surfaces/ furcation involvement
  • Deep pits and fissures
  • Incipient (early staged) cavities
  • Areas that trap food

Patients with active cavities that would be difficult to treat otherwise

  • Decay on primary (baby) teeth, non-invasive (no sedation, needles or drilling!)
  • Elderly or other special needs patients who cannot tolerate dental procedures
  • Early cavities to prevent/slow progression
  • Root decay or secondary decay under complicated restorations

Patients with tooth sensitivity

Remineralizes tooth enamel


Things to consider

Active areas of decay/cavity will turn black. Healthy tooth structures will not stain. If accidentally applied to skin or gums they will develop a temporary brown stain. Using a salt scrub after will help minimize this.

SDF has very low toxicity and is considered very safe for use. You should not have SDF if you are allergic to silver or have painful sores around your mouth or gums.  

SDF does not restore form or function, just stops/slows the bacteria causing the decay. SDF does not eliminate the need for more procedures likes fillings or crowns where the need for form or function needs to be restored. A "SMART" restoration may be placed.

Reapplication is necessary, most effective if applied twice yearly. Application in most cases just takes a few minutes and can be done by your hygienist at your preventative cleaning appointments. Below the floss method is being used to place the SDF between the teeth.


SMART treatment can restore form and function on a tooth that cannot otherwise be treated with conventional restoration. SMART restorations can help minimize appearnace of black stain.