Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) Considered an Effective Dental Caries Treatment for Older Adults

Dental practitioners often experience difficulties in providing dental care for older adults. This stems from limited finances, mobility-based restrictions, age-based cognitive challenges, and medical impairments.

Unfortunately, approximately 96% of all people who are 65 years of age or older have a history of dental caries. Of these, one in five have tooth decay that is not being treated and two out of three have full-blown periodontal disease.

To correct this issue, the American Dental Association (ADA) has made the recommendation of utilizing solutions containing fluoride to prevent or to stop dental caries among the elderly.

Of these, silver diamine fluoride (SDF) has recently gained new levels of attention as a solution for this issue.

What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

The silver diamine fluoride is a specialized dual-action liquid solution that contains concentrations of both silver and fluoride. These two ingredients experience their stabilization through a small percentage of ammonia.

In the year of 2014, it was approved by the FDA for the treatment of tooth sensitivity. Its off-label usage was approved for the prevention and the treatment of dental caries. In the year of 2016, its designation was created for the prevention and treatment of caries.

It combines antimicrobial properties and remineralization properties that successfully aids in helping older populations overcome dental caries before it transitions into a more serious oral health condition.

The Benefits

Older adults face many challenges which lead to the onset of dental caries and other types of oral health problems. As one gets older, their salivary flow is reduced. Certain medications also result in a reduction to salivary flow.

Recessions in the gum line, bone damage, poor diet, and other issues also put aging populations at higher risk for developing dental problems – such as tooth decay. SDF is an effective treatment because it is easy to apply.

Patients are not required to be transported to a dental facility, if they reside in an assisted living facility, a nursing home, or are involved in ambulatory care or are receiving palliative care.

It is an excellent option for patients suffering from a form of dementia as they often become confused and stressed more easily.

The Dangers of Dental Caries in the Elderly

Dental caries is a progressive type of infectious dental disease that could result in the destruction of the teeth and the surrounding soft tissues. It can result in immense devastation among the elderly – in terms of their overall health and their overall quality of life.

It has been shown to actually cause secondary infections in the body and affect dementia patients and their baseline cognitive level. Many patients have to undergo dental implants, ridge modification in Wichita, or have to switch completely over to dentures because of dental caries.

SDF helps to prevent an older adult from facing so many complications. If you require care for an older adult or have a question about their oral health, feel free to contact us today by calling: 316-330-4050