Although there has been a decrease in the prevalence and the severity of dental caries in children over the past few decades, the benefits have not been equally shared by many low-income or underserved children in many industrialised countries, or children in developing countries. Dental caries is still the most common and challenging dental disease in children for a clinician to treat. Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) has been in use to arrest dental caries in many countries. A 38% (44,800 ppm fluoride ions) SDF solution is commonly used to arrest caries in primary teeth of children, especially those children who are young and difficult to manage. Application of SDF to arrest dental caries is a non-invasive procedure that is quick and simple to use. However, it stains the carious teeth and turns the arrested caries black. It also has an unpleasant metallic taste that is not liked by patients, especially children. The low cost of SDF and its simplicity in application suggest that SDF is an appropriate therapeutic agent for use in community dental health projects. Reports of available studies found no severe pulpal damage after SDF application. The current literature suggests that SDF can be an effective agent in preventing new caries and in arresting dental caries in the primary teeth of the children. It can be used to arrest caries progression in very young children who are less cooperative, and it allows definitive restoration to be performed when they grow older and become more receptive to dental procedures.
Keywords: arrested caries, children, silver diamine fluoride