THE BRONX - St. Barnabas Hospital has introduced a new way of tackling cavities.

The procedure has been used in Japan for more than 80 years, and it's now only available in the Bronx.

Dr. Lisa van Eyndhoven, a pediatric dentist in the St. Barnabas Hospital Dental Clinic, uses silver diamine fluoride to stop cavities from growing.  

While it doesn't necessarily repair the damage, it avoids the immediate need for the "drill and fill" that many parents of young children want to avoid at all costs.  

Silver diamine fluoride works by "freezing" the cavity.  It recently received FDA approval to treat teeth sensitivity in adults, and is now being used by a handful of pediatric dentists around the country for use on children with cavities.  The procedure also avoids putting a child under anesthesia.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry calls the procedure very promising. Many parents like the procedure because of its affordability.