This infographic describes specific requirements in state laws and regulation that impact the ability of dental hygienists to apply silver diamine fluoride (SDF). SDF is a topical medicament that can be used to treat dental caries across the age spectrum.1 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.2,3
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.4
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References: 1. Horst JA, Ellenikiotis H, Milgrom PM. USCF Protocol for caries arrest using silver diamine fluoride: rationale, indications, and consent. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2016;44(1):16-28. 2. Crystal YO, Marghalani AA, Ureles SD, et al. Use of silver diamine fluoride for dental caries management in children and adolescents, including those with special health care needs. Pediatr Dent. 2017;39(5):E135-E145. 3. Oliveira BH, Cunha-Cruz J, Rajendra A, Niederman R. Controlling dental caries in exposed root surfaces with silver diamine fluoride: a systematic review with meta-analysis. J Am Dent Assoc. 2018;149(8):671-679. 4. Milgroma P, Horst JA, Ludwig S, et al. Topical silver diamine fluoride for dental caries arrest in preschool children: a randomized controlled trial and microbiological analysis of caries associated microbes and resistance gene expression. J Dent. 2018;68:72-78.
This graphic is for informational purposes only. State silver diamine fluoride (SDF) requirements are subject to change and can impact the ability of dental hygienists in that state to apply SDF. Contact the applicable dental board or an attorney for specific legal advice.
This graphic was developed by the Oral Health Workforce Research Center (OHWRC), Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University at Albany’s School of Public Health. This work is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $449,943 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The information presented in this infographic is based on research conducted by the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by, HRSA, HHS, or the US government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.
This infographic is the property of the OHWRC and may not be modified in any way. It may be shared publicly in its current form in its entirety, including the attribution stated above.
Last Updated September 2020.