News Release

Effectiveness of SDF in arresting root caries in different fluoridated areas

Peer-Reviewed Publication

International & American Associations for Dental Research

Seoul, Republic of Korea - On June 24, 2016, at the 94th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research, researcher Edward Lo, University of Hong Kong, SAR, China, will present a study titled "Effectiveness of SDF in Arresting Root Caries in Different Fluoridated Areas." The IADR General Session is being held in conjunction with the 3rd Meeting of the IADR Asia Pacific Region and the 35th Annual Meeting of the IADR Korean Division.

The objective of this research study was to compare the effectiveness of annual application of silver diammine fluoride (SDF) solution on arresting root caries in community-dwelling elders living in water fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas. This study was conducted in a water fluoridated area (Hong Kong) and also in a non-fluoridated area (Guangzhou). Healthy community-dwelling elders who had at least five teeth with exposed root surfaces and not indicated for extraction were recruited and randomly allocated into one of two groups: Gp1 (placebo control) - annually application of soda water; Gp2 (test) - annual application of a 38% SDF solution. Individual oral hygiene instruction and fluoridated toothpaste was provided to all subjects. The status of dental root surfaces were clinically examined by calibrated examiners at baseline and every six months.

A total of 533 elders with 138 root surfaces with active caries lesion were recruited at baseline, 260 elders with 84 active root caries lesions in HK and 273 elders with 54 active root caries lesions in GZ, respectively. After 18-months, 75 (54%) of these lesions were reviewed, 51 and 24 in HK and GZ, respectively. The proportions of active lesions that had become arrested were 32% and 75% in Gp1 and Gp2 in HK (X2 test, P<0.05), and 11% and 87% in Gp1 and Gp2 in GZ (X2 test, P<0.05), respectively. The difference in caries arrest rates in the SDF groups in HK and in GZ were not statistically significant (X2 test, P>0.05).

Based on the 18-month result, the researchers concluded that the annual application of 38% SDF solution can arrest root caries in community-dwelling elders. Furthermore, background water fluoride level does not have a statistically significant influence on the effectiveness of SDF. This clinical trial is still ongoing and longer-term results will be reported later.

The research is supported by the IADR/Colgate Community-based Research Award for Caries Prevention.

This is a summary of poster abstract #1044 titled "Effectiveness of SDF in Arresting Root Caries in Different Fluoridated Areas," to be presented by Edward Lo on Friday, June 24, 2016, 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. at the COEX Convention and Exhibition Center, Hall B, as part of the session titled "Systemic Conditions & Periodontal Disease Epidemiology I."


About the International Association for Dental Research

The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with nearly 10,500 individual members worldwide, dedicated to: (1) advancing research and increasing knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide, (2) supporting and representing the oral health research community, and (3) facilitating the communication and application of research findings. To learn more, visit

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