Dental Procedure Pain: Get the Facts

The Best Alternative To The Dentist Drill For Cavities

It's one of the worst feelings you can experience when sitting in your dentist's chair. The knowledge that you have teeth needing to have cavities repaired means the dreaded drill and fill technique. It's even worse when your dentist says the cavities are so bad that you need crowns once the fillings are complete. There may be an alternative however to the drill and fill method you just might want to ask your dentist about. 

Silver Diamine Fluoride

Silver Diamine Fluoride is a mixture which is placed inside the cavity and used to freeze it, thereby preventing the cavity from getting any larger. It also prevents any possible infection from spreading to the root and therefore into the bloodstream. The silver hardens the tooth and prevents further deterioration and breakage. The mixture is painted on and takes only seconds to complete the process. This procedure is relatively new however and only a handful of dentist use it at this time.

This process has been used to treat tooth sensitivity in adults, but the downside of the treatment is the process turns the area permanently black.

Process Does Not Repair

While the silver diamine fluoride will stop the cavity and any potential infection from spreading or enlarging, it does not repair the cavity itself. The only options to repair the cavity will be to eventually fill it or to reapply the silver diamine fluoride every so often. In children, a dentist may opt to forgo repairing the tooth and allow it naturally fall out if it's a baby tooth.

FDA Approved

Silver Diamine Fluoride is an FDA approved treatment for limited use, mainly for tooth sensitivity and dentists who use this method to treat cavities do so off-label, meaning they are using it in a method other than what it is intended for. There are continuing studies and clinical trials at the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa to determine the effectiveness of long-term use in treating cavities. These studies may go a long way to obtaining FDA approval for use of the treatment in cavity repair.

This option is seen as a less invasive treatment to using a drill and also a cheaper option for both dentists and patients. The treatment has potential to change how dentists treat tooth decay. It is seen as a good alternative treatment for children's baby teeth and for those who avoid the dentist out of fear of needles and drills.

For further assistance, contact a local dentist, such as one from Pike Dentistry.