Low-cost liquid tames tooth 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 programme, according to a new study by researchers at New York University (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 caries (cavities) is 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 programmes. In sealant programmes, dental professionals visit schools to apply a thin, protective coating to the surface of teeth that hardens and safeguards against decay.

Researchers at NYU College of Dentistry led CariedAway, the nation’s largest school-based cavity prevention study, to compare the use of SDF and traditional sealants. The study included approximately 4,100 children in New York City elementary schools.

At each school visit, either sealants or SDF were applied followed by fluoride varnish. The researchers reported last year in the journal JAMA Network Open that a single treatment of either SDF or a sealant prevented 80% of cavities and kept 50% of existing cavities from worsening two years later. The team continued their study for another two years, and in their study published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that SDF and sealants prevented roughly the same number of cavities after children were followed for a total of four years. Moreover, both sealants and SDF reduced the risk of decay at each follow-up visit.


From: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2024/03/240304135748.htm