Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Dentistry



First Advisor

Dr. Carol Caudill

Second Advisor

Dr. Caroline Carrico

Third Advisor

Dr. Tegwyn Brickhouse

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jayakumar Jayaraman

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Parthasarathy Madurantakam


Purpose: The purpose of this research was to determine the use of silver diamine fluoride (SDF) in dentistry in Virginia and the factors that affect the practitioners’ decision. Methods: A survey was sent to the members of the Virginia Dental Association (VDA) by email and posted on the VDA social media accounts. The survey questions measured the practitioner’s demographics, knowledge, and factors that affect their utilization of SDF. Results: Most providers were general dentists (77%). The most common clinical situations for SDF use were to arrest caries in children with behavioral issues (77%), to delay restorative treatment (73%), in medically fragile patients (67%), for root caries (60%), and for patients with severe dental anxiety (54%). Self-reported use of SDF was significantly associated with the provider’s years in practice (P=.0053) and if they felt they have received adequate training (P <.0001). Eighty-nine percent of providers with 5 or less years of experience reported using SDF compared to 60% of those with greater than 5 years of experience. Conclusion: The practitioners who utilize SDF have more knowledge on SDF. Pediatric dentists reported they have more knowledge, adequate training, and increased use of SDF compared to general dentists. General dentists not using SDF report less knowledge or familiarity with SDF. Adequate training related to the use of SDF and an appropriate reimbursement level is important to increase SDF use among dentists in the future.


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Date of Submission


Available for download on Friday, May 03, 2024