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J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2018 May-Jun;8(3):191-199. doi: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_99_18. Epub 2018 May 17.

Is Silver Diamine Fluoride Effective in Preventing and Arresting Caries in Elderly Adults? A Systematic Review.

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Former Post Graduate Student, Centre for Public Health, Queen's University, Belfast, United Kingdom.
Phd Student, School of Dentistry, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia.



Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) has invoked interest in recent times due to its remineralization capacity and non-invasive application procedure. The aim of this systematic review was to report the findings concerning the effectiveness of SDF in managing caries in the elderly adults.

Materials and Methods:

A systematic search of publications was conducted using four databases: PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, and CENTRAL. The key MeSH term combinations used were (silver diamine fluoride) AND (caries) AND (elderly).


The review found only three well-conducted randomized controlled trials evaluating the effectiveness of SDF on root caries in community-dwelling elders. None of the studies addressed coronal caries. The effectiveness improved when combined with structured oral health education.


The available limited evidence on SDF shows that it is effective in arresting and preventing root caries in the elderly. More high-quality studies need to be done to verify the effectiveness on coronal caries and long-term effects of SDF in the elderly with varying levels of dependency.


Caries; elderly adults; oral health; prevention; silver diamine fluoride

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