Dental caries, a bacterial process that results in the acidic destruction of tooth structure, has historically been managed by the mechanical excavation of diseased tooth structure and then restoration with a synthetic material. The mechanical excavation of the infected site is most commonly achieved by a dental handpiece, or "drill"; this handpiece may induce stress and anxiety in many patients. Alternatively, a drill-less filling will involve the utilization of silver diamine fluoride (38%) to arrest and prevent dental caries, followed by restoration with a bonded filling material to achieve adequate seal at the lesion margins. This is a minimally invasive procedure that addresses both microbial and mechanical issues posed by dental caries.
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