New liquid allows dentists to fight cavities painlessly

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Not many people look forward to going to the dentist, especially children. (WLS)

Not many people look forward to going to the dentist, especially children. Now, there's a new liquid doctors are using to fight cavities painlessly, without a drill.

Just ask 6-year-old Uriah Webb's mom Andrea how much they both hate the dentist's office.

"Crying, screaming, running, don't want you to look in his mouth," she said.

But those nightmarish appointments may be just a bad memory, even for someone with cavities, thanks to a new liquid called silver diamine fluoride. It's been used in other countries for decades, but only recently approved by the FDA for the U.S. It's marketed as Advantage Arrest.

"What's so exciting about it is it's the first time in modern history really that we have something that can actually arrest the decay process," said Dentist Scott Tomar.

Tomar loves the cavity fighting liquid. He actually teaches dental students and dentists how to use it.

"You dab a small amount onto the cavity with a tiny brush, dab it on there for about two minutes, rinse it off, air dry it," he said.

Dr. Tomar says the liquid desensitizes the tooth. The anti-microbial properties also stop cavities from getting worse and it even prevents them.

Too good to be true? There is a downside. It can darken and even blacken teeth.
Despite the risks, this mom says it's much better than traumatizing kids to the point they want to avoid dentists altogether.

"I see other kid's teeth that are my kid's age and they have no teeth. They are rotten down. They're gone. It's just horrible," said Webb.

It's not mandatory for dentists to use silver diamine fluoride, but Dr. Tomar says parents should talk it over with their dentist.

Silver diamine fluoride is already used in hundreds of dental offices.

At least 18 dental schools have started teaching the next generation of pediatric dentists how to use it.

The cost generally is much lower than a filling, probably about one-fourth of the cost in most cases. It also takes less chair time, fewer supplies and materials.

If you would like more information, check out the medical breakthroughs on the web at www.ivanhoe.com.

Related Topics:
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