In an article in the Health Affairs Blog (4/5), Neel Koyawala, Yasmi O. Crystal, and Martin A. Makary say “research shows that it takes approximately 17 years for evidence to become broadly adopted into clinical practice.” However, when it comes to silver diamine fluoride (SDF) therapy, the authors say, “We should move faster.” The authors write that SDF offers “a simple and painless treatment alternative to drilling dental caries in children,” and 11 clinical trials involving “3,970 children throughout the world have documented the efficacy of SDF in the arrest of dental caries for primary teeth.” The authors encourage more dentists to offer SDF as a treatment option, saying doing so could help “give more US children access to quality dental care” and “reduce health care costs.” Mr. Koyawala is a medical student at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Dr. Crystal is a diplomate and examiner for the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and clinical professor at New York University College of Dentistry; and Dr. Makary is a surgical oncologist and chief of the Johns Hopkins Islet Transplant Center. 

        A clinical practice guideline published in The Journal of the American Dental Association presents evidence that certain nonrestorative interventions for carious lesions are effective. Additional information on nonrestorative treatments for carious lesions is available in chairside guides for primary and permanent teeth.