Fluoride Treatment Cairns

Decay activity (dental caries) is the most common chronic disease suffered by children.

For young children with tooth decay, there is a wonderful new option now offered at Future Dental in Cairns, the use of Silver Fluoride (AgF) or Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF). It is a much more pleasant and less invasive form of treatment that is both low cost and not uncomfortable in any way for a child. This option is both quick and painless, and many cavities can be treated in a single visit.

What does Silver Fluoride or Stannous Fluoride do?

It kills the decay-causing bacteria and arrests the decay process, preventing tooth decay from increasing on the tooth’s enamel. It also desensitises the tooth so that if or when the cavity is filled, the filling usually does not even require a needle because the tooth has been so strongly sealed and desensitised by this topical fluoride varnish.

The filling can be prepared painlessly. It can be applied to the teeth of children as young as 2 years of age. The application does need to be repeated once every six months, and if deemed necessary by the dentist or patient, the tooth can be filled during that time. This form of treatment cannot be used if the decay process has gone very close to the nerve of the tooth or if a toothache or an abscess on the tooth has already occurred.

Fluoride dental treatment process compared to traditional treatment

The traditional treatment has been to use the drill to remove the decay and then place a filling. Some children suffer numerous cavities and require complex treatment. The placement of a filling requires full cooperation from the child, and with many young children, despite how well behaved they may be, achieving this with needles is very difficult and can be psychologically traumatic to the child and parents. Frequently, it can only be managed with either sedation or even a general anaesthetic for the child, with all its delays in implementation, inconvenience and cost involved.

This treatment differs in that it involves applying a fluoride supplement onto tooth surfaces to halt tooth decay.

The ARMER approach

This type of treatment manages the growth of oral caries, and the status of the caries is redefined as active or arrested. The ARMER acronym is used to describe a frontline approach to caries management. The ARMER approach aims to Assess, Redefine, Manage with Education and then either Review, Repeat, Restore, Rehabilitate or Re-establish.

This then allows time for a management protocol to be developed which allows appropriate treatment planning for the individual patient., and the use of silver fluoride materials (AgF, AgF/Snf2, or SDF) is essential. It involves a variety of modern day restorative materials and techniques, the assessment and planning of recommendations which will offer ongoing improvement in the patient’s oral health care status and involvement in their future oral care plan.

The tooth’s appearance after treatment

The appearance can still look like active decay, but it is rock-solid arrested decay. Any dentist subsequently seeing the tooth, if not aware that the tooth has been treated with AgF or SDF, may mistake it for chronic decay and suggest a filling or criticise the previous dentist for missing decay or letting it progress. Regrettably, very few dentists are either aware of this technique or do not recognise teeth treated this way.

As such, we inform the parent and give a small card to be able to keep and present to any subsequent dentist seeing these black, arrested decay lesions on teeth. These arrested decay spots are solid, and we describe them as Black Diamonds because of the hardness of the treated decay and dark appearance.

The effect of AgF and SDF results in the active decay turning into a black colour, so it needs to be used cautiously on the front teeth as it can look very unsightly.

The advantages of fluoride treatment

In using AgF and SDF treatment, there is a vast range of advantages. These include:

  • It is quick to apply and painless.
  • It is a very low-cost procedure compared to other forms of management of decayed teeth.
  • It is used to arrest and stabilise decay in a tooth, thus buying time in management.
  • The tooth is rapidly desensitised, making either reapplication or filling the tooth a painless exercise.
  • No injections are required to apply fluoride or subsequently fill the tooth.
  • The arrested decay becomes very hard so that if/when the filling is subsequently done, less tooth structure is removed to fill the tooth.
  • Very easy to treat kids who are very apprehensive and unable to cooperate in a painless manner.
  • The process can be done every 6 months until the baby tooth comes out naturally or the child becomes old enough and confident enough to fill the tooth normally and without needles.
  • Decay is fully arrested in 80% of cases.
  • Emergency visits caused by severe toothache, infection or abscess is reduced by 80%.
  • It holds teeth in place until the time when the baby teeth are naturally lost, thus reducing the need for extractions. Extracted teeth cause other teeth to move into the space and can mean the need for orthodontic treatment later.
  • It can be a valuable service if the child is unlikely to return promptly for more permanent management of decay.
  • While there are various other preventive dental measures for managing and preventing cavities, science hasn’t yet come up with a more effective alternative.
  • This treatment applies to all patients, not just children.

Given all these advantages of using AgF and SDF, few parents reject the idea of having teeth that show as having black holes present, rather than subjecting their young children to the cost, difficulty, and detriment to their dental health in managing tooth decay through other means.

There is a very small number of parents who will refuse the use of any amount of fluoride in any form on themselves or their children, be it in fluoridated water, professional fluoride treatment, or fluoridated toothpaste. Regrettably, this may often greatly increase the trauma to their children in the management of acute dental emergencies.

Cost of fluoride treatments

The Australian Government’s Medicare CDBS scheme, does not cover the itemisation of individual tooth application of AgF or SDF, regrettably, but the cost per tooth is far cheaper than any other form of management of decay problems.

Nonetheless, the team at Future Dental will be able to assist you through our range of payment plans.

Fluoride treatment consent form

To save time during your treatment, you are now able to fill out the required Fluoride treatment consent form online before your visit.

Fluoride treatments in Cairns

Make an Enquiry

  • Phone (07) 4051 4580
  • Fax (07) 4031 5226
  • Email info@futuredental.com.au
  • Address Ground Floor "Accent on McLeod"
    93-95 McLeod St

    Cairns QLD 4870
  • Hours
    Monday8:00am - 5:00pm
    Tuesday8:00am - 5:00pm
    Wednesday8:00am - 5:00pm
    Thursday8:00am - 5:00pm
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