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Silver Diamine Fluoride-An Alternative Strategy for the Treatment of Caries in Individuals with Special Needs

Anna Pantus1*, Rosa Lopez1


To investigate the effectiveness of Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) in arresting dental and root caries in people with special needs (PSN); to evaluate whether SDF could be an alternative strategy in arresting/managing caries compared to the conventional restorative techniques involving filings.


A systematic literature search was conducted using electronic databases, manual reference list, and grey literature searches. Applying inclusion criteria 18 studies were used for data extraction; 15 studies were randomized/controlled clinical trials (RCT) examining caries arrest in primary and permanent dentition and 3 RCT on root caries in the elderly. No RCT investigated the effectiveness of SDF on dentine caries arrest or compared the effectiveness of SDF with conventional restorative treatments in normal individuals older than 10 years old, in PSN or elderly. The majority of studies revealed high dentine and root caries arrest/prevention during bi-annual application of 38% SDF compared to other interventions.


Application of SDF could be a potential alternative strategy in arresting/managing caries in PSN. However, a well-designed trial is needed to assess the effectiveness of SDF on PSN and compare the outcomes to conventional restorative treatments due to the current gap in literature research.

Keywords: SDF, Silver Diamine Fluoride, People with special needs, Special Needs, Dental Caries, Root caries, Caries, Dental Decay, Special Care Dentistry, Disability