weekly blog--one for the ages
No drilling, needle prick or trip to the dentist required. Silver diamine fluoride, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2014 for reducing tooth sensitivity, has also been adopted by dentists as a cavity treatment for patients who can’t easily get a filling, such as the very young or the very old, according to an article in Kaiser Health News.
Fast, low-cost and pain free, Silver diamine fluoride is a liquid that can be painted on teeth to stop decay. The topical medication is an especially good option for seniors, dental industry experts say, because dental care has remained a major gap in health insurance coverage despite poor dental hygiene being linked to heart disease and other health problems like diabetes and pneumonia.
Medicare does not cover most dental care, and patients on a fixed income often can’t afford treatment. But because of the effectiveness and low cost of silver diamine fluoride, more state Medicaid programs now cover it, and older adults who pay out-of-pocket can afford it outright.
Silver diamine fluoride has been used in other countries for decades, and studies have proved it safe. Its biggest downside is that it permanently turns the decayed area black, however, dental providers say the black spots can be covered by tooth-colored material for an extra cost.