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Topical Silver Diamine Fluoride For Dental Caries Arrest In Preschool Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial

By Peter Milgrom, Jeremy A Horst, Sharity Ludwig, Marilynn Rothen, Benjamin W. Chaffee, Svetlana Lyalina, Katherine Pollard, Joseph L. DeRisi, Lloyd Mancl

Posted 29 Apr 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/131870 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.jdent.2017.08.015)

Objectives: The Stopping Cavities Trial investigated effectiveness and safety of 38% silver diamine fluoride in arresting caries lesions. Materials and Methods: Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled superiority trial with 2 parallel groups. Oregon preschools. 66 preschool children with ≥1 lesion. 38% silver diamine fluoride or placebo (blue-tinted water), applied topically to the lesion. The primary endpoint was caries arrest (lesion inactivity, Nyvad criteria) 14-21 days post intervention. Dental plaque was collected from all children, and microbial composition was assessed by RNA sequencing from 2 lesions and 1 unaffected surface before treatment and at follow-up for 3 children from each group. Results and Conclusion: Mean fraction of arrested caries lesions in the silver diamine fluoride group was higher (0.72; 95% CI; 0.55, 0.84) than in the placebo group (0.05; 95% CI; 0.00, 0.16). Confirmatory analysis using generalized estimating equation log-linear regression, accounting for the number of treated surfaces and length of follow-up, indicated the fraction of arrested caries was significantly higher in the treatment group (relative risk, 17.3; 95% CI: 4.3 to 69.4). No harms were observed. RNA sequencing analysis identified no consistent changes in relative abundance of caries-associated microbes, nor emergence of antibiotic or metal resistance gene expression. Topical 38% silver diamine fluoride was effective and safe in arresting cavities in preschool children. The treatment is applicable to primary care practice and may reduce the burden of untreated tooth decay in the population. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02536040. Clinical Significance In this clinical trial, 72% of caries lesions were arrested by silver diamine fluoride, with no harms. Contrary to the presumed antibacterial mechanism, lesion bacterial composition changed negligibly. This simple topical treatment is applicable to primary care practice and may reduce the burden of untreated tooth decay in the population.

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