Purpose: This study's purpose was to test silver diammine fluoride (SDF) in arresting incipient occlusal caries in erupting permanent first molars and to compare it with other approaches.
Methods: Sixty-six first erupting permanent molars were randomly divided into 3 groups: cross tooth-brushing technique (CTT), application of SDF, and glass ionomer fissure sealant (GIC). The clinical procedures were conducted by the same dentist. Teeth were assessed clinically by 1 blinded examiner using visual inspection at baseline and after 3, 6, 12, 18, and 30 months and radiographically at 6-, 12-, and 30-month follow-up evaluations. The Kruskall-Wallis test was used to compare noninvasive treatments, and the Friedman test was performed to evaluate differences for each group during different follow-up periods.
Results: A reduced number of active caries lesions was noted in all groups. After 3 and 6 months, SDF showed a significantly greater capacity for arresting caries lesions than CTT and GIC. At 18- and 30-month evaluations, no differences were observed among the 3 groups. All groups showed differences between baseline and all follow-up re-examinations.
Conclusions: All the tested techniques are equally efficient in controlling initial occlusal caries in erupting permanent first molars after 30-months of follow-up.