Silver Diamine Fluoride versus Sodium Fluoride for Arresting Dentine Caries in Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Alice Trieu, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Ahmed Mohamed, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Edward Lynch, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Dental caries can compromise quality of life and is associated with demineralization of tooth structure by organic acids produced by microorganisms. This study systematically reviewed the dentine caries arrest capabilities of silver diamine fluoride (SDF) and sodium fluoride (NaF). A comprehensive search strategy was developed to identify the relevant publications in electronic databases and hand searched journals and reviews (to March 2018). By applying strict inclusion and exclusion criteria, only six papers (two randomized controlled trials, two follow-up articles and two secondary statistical analysis studies) were considered for full text qualitative and quantitative assessment. The included studies were critically appraised and statistically evaluated. Only four articles were considered for meta-analysis, as the other two were secondary analyses of included studies. When comparing the caries arrest lesions of SDF and NaF, SDF was found to be statistically more effective in dentine caries arrest of primary teeth during the 18 and 30 month clinical examinations. The weighted total effect size of the differences between SDF and NaF regarding arrested caries surfaces was calculated and showed nearly double the effectiveness of SDF to NaF at 30 months. Therefore, SDF is a more effective caries management reagent than NaF. Further clinical research is needed to consolidate the findings of this systematic review.