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A new way to fight cavities

Dr. Margherita Fontana

Ann Arbor, Mich., July 12, 2016 – Dr. Margherita Fontana, professor in the Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics department, is quoted this week in a New York Times article examining a new treatment for cavities.

The article describes the use of Silver Diamine Fluoride, or SDF, an antimicrobial liquid that is brushed on cavities to stop tooth decay without the need for drilling.  The treatment has been used in Japan for decades, but has only been approved for use in the United States for about a year as a tooth desensitizer for adults. Studies show it can prevent and halt the progress of cavities.

Fontana is leading one of the first randomized clinical trials of SDF and the first in the U.S. looking at patient acceptability of the new procedure. The study, from 2015-2017, is sponsored by the Delta Dental Foundation.  Two School of Dentistry pediatric residents are using the SDF trial for their thesis subject, and the new method has been introduced to students in the School of Dentistry, with some using it in clinics.

In addition to teaching cariology, Fontana focuses her clinical research on caries management in children, including risk assessment, dental sealants and oral biofilms related to caries development and-or prevention.  Her work has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Delta Dental Foundation and private industry.

Read the New York Times story: A Cavity-Fighting Liquid Lets Kids Avoid Dentists’ Drills.