Silver Diamine Fluoride For Cavities Under Crowns

Dealing with cavities under dental crowns can be a frustrating experience, especially if you’re not keen on the idea of investing in a new crown. Fortunately, there is a cost-effective and efficient alternative called Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) that can provide relief for cavities under crowns without breaking the bank. In this article, we will discuss what Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is, explore the benefits of using SDF, its affordability compared to getting a new crown, its mechanism, possible side effects, the importance of regular dental check-ups, and what happens when a cavity goes untreated under a crown.

What is Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)? 

SDF is a liquid solution that contains silver particles and fluoride. When applied to a cavity, it acts as an antimicrobial agent, halting the progression of the decay. The silver particles help to kill the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, while the fluoride promotes remineralization and strengthens the remaining tooth structure. SDF is a non-invasive treatment option that can effectively arrest the decay process.

Who Benefits Most from SDF Treatment? 

SDF treatment is particularly beneficial for patients who are looking for a more affordable and faster solution to address cavities under crowns. It is also ideal for those who prefer to avoid invasive procedures and want to preserve their existing dental crown. Additionally, individuals with financial constraints or dental anxiety can find SDF treatment to be a viable and convenient option.

Price Difference: SDF vs. New Crown 

One of the primary advantages of choosing SDF treatment over a new crown is the substantial difference in cost. While the price of a new crown can vary depending on factors such as materials and location, it is generally significantly higher than the cost of an SDF application. SDF treatment offers a cost-effective alternative, making it an attractive option for those seeking an affordable solution to address cavities under their existing crowns. For example, at our dental office in Tigard, a new crown is typically around $1400 without insurance, whereas an SDF treatment is $50-75. 

Possible Side Effects

While SDF treatment is generally safe, there are some potential side effects to be aware of. The most common side effect is temporary discoloration of the treated area, where the cavity turns black due to the silver content in the solution. This discoloration is harmless and can be addressed by your dentist using aesthetic restorative procedures if desired. It is important to discuss any concerns or questions about potential side effects with your dentist before undergoing SDF treatment.

Cavity Under a Crown 

Cavities under crowns might not always cause noticeable discomfort, as the crown itself can shield the underlying tooth from external stimuli. However, some patients may experience occasional sensitivity or localized pain when the cavity becomes more severe. Regular dental check-ups are crucial to detect and treat cavities under crowns at an early stage. Only a dental professional can assess the condition of the tooth and recommend the most suitable treatment plan.

Consequences of Untreated Cavities under a Crown

Ignoring a cavity under a crown can lead to serious consequences. The decay can progress and affect the tooth structure, potentially causing infection, tooth sensitivity, and even the loss of the tooth. If the cavity becomes too large, alternative treatments such as root canal therapy or extraction may be necessary. It is vital to address cavities under crowns promptly to avoid further complications and the need for more invasive procedures.


Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) treatment offers an affordable and convenient option for patients who have cavities under their dental crowns but are reluctant to invest in a new crown. By applying SDF, the decay can be halted, promoting tooth remineralization and preventing further damage. While SDF treatment may cause temporary discoloration, its benefits outweigh this minor aesthetic concern. Remember, regular dental check-ups at our office in Tigard are crucial to detect cavities under crowns early on, allowing for prompt treatment and avoiding more invasive procedures in the future.

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