The pediatric dentists at the Children’s Dental often recommend composite resin or tooth color fillings. These fillings are generally strong and resistant to the daily pressures that a tooth may be subjected to, making it an ideal material for this purpose.
When Are Dental Fillings Necessary?
During the dental exam, your child’s dentist may identify cavities. The digital x-rays used in our office, along with a tooth-by-tooth exam with a dental explorer (dental tool) can help uncover areas of decay. As long as the decay is not too large, in which case it would need a root canal, the tooth can be restored with a simple composite filling.
Types Of Dental Fillings
For the most part, there are two types of direct dental fillings that are done in our pediatric dental clinics. These are either composite (white fillings) or amalgam (silver fillings). While amalgam fillings are often stronger, composite fillings are more aesthetically pleasing.
Why Choose Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Composite, or tooth colored fillings, match the color and physical appearance of our natural teeth closely and is preferred by most pediatric dentists for restorations made in aesthetic areas. They are also used successfully on molars or other chewing surfaces, as long as the fillings are relatively small. For larger fillings, or those that go in between the teeth (interproximal decay), silver fillings may be recommended. However, for the most part, both types of filling materials, be it composite or amalgam, can be used to restore teeth that have been affected by decay.
How Are Composite Fillings Placed Inside Teeth?
Before placing any fillings, children are made to feel comfortable in the dental setting. Sometimes this is achieved by using pediatric oral sedation or nitrous oxide. The tooth affected is made numb using a local anesthetic, and the decay is removed. The preparation in the tooth is then exposed to acid etch and a resin bonding material before the composite is placed into the tooth. Once the filling is in place, a blue light is placed on the filling, making it hard. Finally, adjustments are made so that the child is comfortable biting.
Does It Hurt To Get Fillings?
After the initial process of making the child numb, the child no longer feels pain while getting a filling placed. Nevertheless, throughout the preparation process, the child may feel the cold water that is sprayed on the tooth and may also feel pressure. Overall, the process is completed fairly quickly and is mostly painless. After the filling is placed, it is common for some children to experience sensitivity on the tooth. This sensitivity could last up to two weeks, but it dies down with time.
How Do You Take Care Of Composite Fillings?
After having the fillings placed, it is very important for children to maintain good oral habits by brushing and flossing two times a day. This way they can prevent recurrent decay from happening and can keep their fillings strong.
Does My Child Need A Filling If They Have A Cavity In A Baby Tooth?
Yes, it is recommended to treat baby tooth cavities as soon as possible. If the decay is extensive, the bacteria in a cavity can cause a dental abscess which can spread and affect the developing adult tooth beneath the gum line.