A multi-site service evaluation of silver diamine fluoride use for children

Br Dent J. 2023 Aug;235(4):269-272. doi: 10.1038/s41415-023-6175-0. Epub 2023 Aug 25.


Introduction The use of silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is relatively new to the UK. It is unknown how it is being used and for what indications in UK paediatric dental services.Aim To: 1) establish how SDF is being used across different paediatric dental settings in the UK; and 2) consider parental and patient views on the treatment experience and side effect of discolouration.Method A multi-site service evaluation was carried out across six paediatric dentistry units covering hospital and community services. Data were collected prospectively from 17/02/2020 to 02/03/2022. Simple descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data.Results Data were collected for 54 patients. The included patients had an age range of 2-13 years, with a mean of 4.9 years. The reason SDF was chosen was reported as: to avoid general anaesthetic (n = 25); to avoid extractions (n = 8); stabilisation (n = 25); acclimatisation (n = 24); and insufficient cooperation for other treatment (n = 17). In total, 42 cases had SDF applied to the primary dentition. This was in the anterior dentition for 18 patients and the posterior dentition for 15, with nine patients having SDF applied both anteriorly and posteriorly. The majority of children and parents were accepting of the technique and immediate aesthetic outcome.Conclusion In the services involved in this multi-site service evaluation, SDF is used for young patients in the primary dentition for the purpose of caries arrest. The technique was viewed positively by the majority of parents and children.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anesthesia, General
  • Anesthetics, General*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Esthetics, Dental*
  • Humans
  • Silver Compounds / therapeutic use


  • silver diamine fluoride
  • Silver Compounds
  • Anesthetics, General