The aim of this study was to determine the effects of 38% silver diamine fluoride (SDF) on carious lesions of human deciduous teeth. Ten extracted deciduous incisors with caries were collected and treated with SDF. After the treatment, the teeth were sectioned through the center of the carious lesion. The extent of sliver precipitation was examined using quantitative backscattered electron scanning electron microscopy (qBSE-SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and micro-computed tomography (micro-CT). The qBSE-SEM images revealed that the silver particles could penetrate through the pellicle complex, along with the rod sheaths into the demineralized enamel rods and the dentinal tubules, and form silver-enriched barriers surrounding the carious lesions at depths up to 2,490.2 μm (mean 744.7 ± 448.7 μm) within the dentinal tubules of the carious lesions, but less likely in the sound enamel. The EDX spectrum analysis revealed that carbon, oxygen, phosphorus, chlorine, silver, and calcium were the main elements detected in the lesions treated with SDF. Additionally, sodium, magnesium, aluminum, silicon, zinc, sulfur, and fluorine were detected as the minor elements within the SDF precipitation “zone.” The micro-CT analysis further showed that in the deep cavitated lesions, the silver precipitation could be observed in the pulp chamber. These findings provide new evidence defining the SDF mode of action for arresting caries and suggest that the application of a highly concentrated SDF solution on deciduous teeth should be used with caution for various carious lesions.
Technology is providing new avenues for patient education. Here’s how dental hygienists can take advantage.
Dental practice has remained relatively insulated from payment upheavals in the broader health care system. The prevailing value-based payment (VBP) models in health care are largely absent in oral health care. The authors present an oral health care value-based payment framework for dentistry.
The authors developed a VBP framework for oral health care, which describes 9 distinct methods to create VBP approaches in dentistry. The framework is based on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Learning Action Network framework for health care payment reform.
The oral health care value-based payment framework includes 4 payment categories and 9 separate payment mechanisms. These 9 payment mechanisms range on a value continuum, each with different financial risks and rewards as well as distinct value implications.
Although dental practice has made extraordinary advances in restorative dentistry, payers and policy makers are advocating for greater value outcomes. VBP models seek to deliver better care more efficiently by means of providing oral health providers the resources needed to increase the value proposition. With relatively minor modifications in practice patterns, VBP models can be developed and implemented for oral health care.
This article can be used as a road map to take steps toward oral health care VBP approaches. The framework highlights how dentistry can learn from payment reforms under way in the health care system and present a model for oral health care payment and care delivery reform, and provides recommendations to advance oral health care VBP.
Amy Ericks, BSDH, RDH, has left the facility where she was providing care to nursing home residents—but she’s definitely not giving up on direct access dental hygiene. In this article, she explains why.