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J Dent Res. 2009 Jul;88(7):644-7. doi: 10.1177/0022034509338671.

Efficacy of silver diamine fluoride for Arresting Caries Treatment.

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Department of Global Oral Health, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, College of Dental Sciences, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Arresting Caries Treatment (ACT) has been proposed to manage untreated dental caries in children. This prospective randomized clinical trial investigated the caries-arresting effectiveness of a single spot application of: (1) 38% silver diamine fluoride (SDF) with tannic acid as a reducing agent; (2) 38% SDF alone; (3) 12% SDF alone; and (4) no SDF application in primary teeth of 976 Nepalese schoolchildren. The a priori null hypothesis was that the different treatments have no effect in arresting active cavitated caries. Only the single application of 38% SDF with or without tannic acid was effective in arresting caries after 6 months (4.5 and 4.2 mean number of arrested surfaces; p < 0.001), after 1 year (4.1 and 3.4; p < 0.001), and after 2 years (2.2 and 2.1; p < 0.01). Tannic acid conferred no additional benefit. ACT with 38% SDF provides an alternative when restorative treatment for primary teeth is not an option.

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