Silver Diamine Fluoride is a liquid which is proving very popular among dentists, owing to its effectiveness. Recent research has looked into potential challenges in implementing programs involving silver diamine fluoride. The research has found there is particular resistance to its use in some Indigenous communities due to a variety of concerns put forward by decision-making personnel.

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Recent research has looked at the challenges that are involved in using Silver Diamine Fluoride as a way of protecting Indigenous children from cavities, which is crucial for the oral health of children [1].

The findings were interesting – showing that there are several challenges involved with the implementation of silver diamine fluoride programs, despite research supporting its use as an effective way of protecting the teeth of children [1].

What is Silver diamine fluoride?

Silver diamine fluoride is a type of liquid that is used in the treatment of cavity prevention. In practice, it is brushed onto the surface of the teeth [2].

Earlier in 2023, silver diamine fluoride was designated as an “Essential Medication” by the World Health Organization – highlighting its importance [2].

This special type of fluoride works by combining the antibacterial effects of silver and the remineralizing effects of fluoride to create a liquid that can be very useful for teeth.

The Research

The study was completed by a team of researchers at the University of Toronto, Canada. Then, the research was presented at the 101st General Session of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) in Colombia [1].

The study sought to understand the perspectives of decision-makers that worked within the health industry in First Nations communities in Canada, in regards to how silver diamine fluoride could be used to manage childhood cavities [1].

The research involved First Nations Indigenous communities [1]. There were five of these communities that were involved, located in the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba.

Indigenous communities present an important consideration for healthcare professionals. Early childhood cavities are common in children from Indigenous communities, especially when compared to the general public [3]. Therefore, the researchers were hoping to produce findings that could bring about positive change for this group.

The Findings

The researchers entered the study with pre-existing knowledge that silver diamine fluoride is effective at preventing cavities in children [4]. In recent years, a lot of research has been carried out into this area.

The study involved the researchers speaking to decision makers that worked within healthcare in the five First Nations communities [1]. They wanted to see how they felt about making silver diamine fluoride a part of their treatment for managing cavities in children.

While there was a general acknowledgment of the benefits of the use of silver diamine fluoride – there were some concerns. These concerns threaten to derail any efforts to implement the use of silver diamine fluoride.

Concerns were raised over how silver diamine fluoride can stain teeth [1]. The decision makers suggested that this could cause more problems rather than solve issues.

There was also resistance based on other strategies that the decision makers were already using [1]. They also voiced concerns over a need to educate parents and wider communities regarding any change [1].

These were interesting findings – and showed that different opinions can exist within healthcare. The decision makers appeared to be pleased with the progress being made in cavity prevention through existing measures.


The researchers suggested that the decision makers implement a program that involves the use of silver diamine fluoride to help prevent cavities in children. Many studies support this.

However, as mentioned there was opposition to this idea. Moreover, the concerns raised are legitimate and highlight the potential for worries regarding the use of silver diamine fluoride.

It is likely that further research over a longer period of time will be needed before there is a consistent approach to silver diamine fluoride. Regardless of the type of treatment used, it is hopeful that children from Indigenous communities will see an improvement in their oral health soon.

Thinking points…

[1] This article mentions silver diamine fluoride. Looking at fluoride on a more general level, we shouldn’t ever forget the importance of using fluoride toothpaste! Moreover, brushing our teeth regularly and getting dental check-ups are very important steps! A check-up is a great way to see if your oral health is as it should be, and for any problems to be looked at. Make sure you book an appointment when a check-up is due!

[2] This article speaks a lot about cavity protection. Cavities can be avoided, but once they develop it is important to seek help. Some people think that they will get better on their own. However, this isn’t the case – and without action, the problem will get worse, resulting in a root canal treatment or even an extraction being required. If you have tooth decay or a cavity, do not hesitate in contacting your dentist!

What we offer at Taradale Dental

Taradale Dental is a Calgary dental clinic that provide its patients with a wide range of dental treatment options and advice aimed at improving their oral health.

It is very important to have excellent oral hygiene. This involves brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing regularly and eating healthily. Therefore, this should help your oral health.

We advise our patients to attend our Calgary dental clinic at least twice per year for a regular dental check-up. At these check-ups, we provide a comprehensive review of a patient’s oral health. If any problems are detected, we have many treatments available. For example, these include cavity fillings and root canals.

Here at Taradale Dental, we also have some cosmetic treatments available! These include dental implants, teeth whitening and Invisalign™! Many people find that these treatments have a positive impact on their appearance, confidence and self-esteem.

Moreover, all of our services at our Calgary dental clinic Taradale Dental are set in line with the Alberta Dental Fee Guide. This ensures transparent and fair pricing.

We hope to see you soon at our Taradale Dental clinic in Calgary! You can find out more about us by visiting our website


[1] International Association for Dental Research. (2023). Study examines the use of silver diamine fluoride as an early childhood caries management strategy. Available: Last accessed: 25th June 2023.

[2] World Health Organization. (2023). World Health Organization (WHO) Recognizes Silver Diamine Fluoride as Dental Essential Medicines. Available: Last accessed: 25th June 2023.

[3] Irvine, J. D., Holve, S., Krol, D., & Schroth, R. (2011). Early childhood caries in Indigenous communities. Paediatrics Child Health. 16 (6): p351-357. DOI:

[4] Ruff, R. R., Barry-Godín, T., & Niederman, R. (2023). Effect of Silver Diamine Fluoride on Caries Arrest and Prevention. JAMA Network Open. 6 (2): e2255458. DOI: