Objective: Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a non-surgical treatment for the arrest and prevention of dental caries that results in irreversible black staining of dental decay. The objective of this study was to evaluate the short-term impact of SDF treatment on oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) relative to a standard package of glass ionomer sealants and atraumatic restorative treatment (ART) in children aged 5–13 years. Methods: CariedAway is a pragmatic, longitudinal, cluster-randomized non-inferiority trial of non-surgical interventions for caries. Secondary study outcomes included OHRQoL and academic performance. Oral health-related quality of life was measured at each study visit using the Child Oral Health Impact Profile. Change in OHRQoL was assessed using linear regression and non-inferiority was determined using t tests. Results: 160 children with an average age of 8.7 years completed quality of life assessments. Untreated decay at baseline (approximately 25%) was associated with significantly worse OHRQoL and treatment in both groups resulted in incremental improvement: children receiving SDF improved their OHRQoL scores from 16.44 (SD = 11.12) to 14.62 (SD = 11.90), and those receiving traditional sealants and atraumatic restorations slightly improved from 16.65 (SD = 10.56) to 16.47 (SD = 11.09). Quality of life in children receiving silver diamine fluoride was non-inferior to those receiving sealants and ART at least 6 months post-treatment (mean difference = 1.85, 95% CI = − 2.10, 5.80), and change in OHRQoL did not depend on the severity of baseline decay. Conclusions: OHRQoL is related to untreated dental caries, and observed changes following SDF treatment were non-inferior relative to standard preventive therapies.
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