Application of Silver Diamine Fluoride by Dental Hygienists

Authors: Margaret Langelier, MSHSA | Theekshana Fernando | Simona Surdu, MD, PhD

Topics: Emerging Models and Innovations, Oral Health, Policy

Research Center: Oral Health Workforce Research Center

January 26, 2021

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a topical medicament that can be used to treat dental caries across the age spectrum. Research supports the use of SDF in pediatric dentistry and in the elderly population as a simple, inexpensive, and effective way of preventing dental caries initiation and progression.

State dental boards and regulators have recognized SDF in various ways, impacting the ability of dental hygienists (DHs) to apply it. Many have directly addressed the topic in regulations or board opinions. Some indicate that SDF is a fluoride, a desensitizing agent, etc. falling under those DH scope of practice permissions and limitations, while others have remained silent on SDF. A recent US study of SDF safety was completed by expanded practice dental hygienists providing services in Head Start programs in Oregon.

This interactive infographic describes specific requirements in state laws and regulation that impact the ability of dental hygienists to apply silver diamine fluoride (SDF).

View Interactive Infographic
Oral Health Workforce Research Center logo