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Enhanced Tooth Structure Via Silver Microwires Following Treatment with 38 Percent Silver Diamine Fluoride.


Purpose: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines recommend treatment of primary teeth with 38 percent silver diamine fluoride (SDF) as a noninvasive option to arrest active dental caries lesions. A significant outcome of SDF treatment are lesions that clinically harden and become more resistant to further decay. Many practicing dentists believe that this increased hardening is due to the reaction of silver and fluoride with carious dentin. The purpose of this study was to focus on the structural and chemical effects of silver diamine fluoride treatment on the native tooth. Methods: In SDF-treated cavitated dentin lesions in teeth subsequently extracted for orthodontic reasons, the authors observed continuous, filamentous silver densities formed in situ from 50 to 2,100 μm in length and 0.25 to 7.0 μm in diameter using high-resolution synchrotron X-ray microcomputer tomography and field emission scanning electron microscopy. These "microwires" fill voids in the lesion caused by disease and permeate through surrounding dentinal tubules. Results: Spectroscopy confirmed that the chemical composition of the observed microwires is predominantly silver. Conclusions: These observations suggest mechanistic explanations for the structural reinforcement of carious dentin in addition to remineralization. It is hypothesized that silver diamine fluoride may achieve its antimicrobial functions by biochemical interactions and through its inherent ability to integrate into the native tooth structure.

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