Dentists may identify cavities in your child’s mouth during a dental exam with the help of digital x-rays besides a tooth by tooth exam using a dental explorer to uncover any areas of decay. Your child could be using a set of teeth which he or she will eventually lose but the teeth need to survive until the permanent teeth guide them out of the gums which ensures that the adult teeth erupt properly with sufficient room. This is the reason why oral hygiene is extremely important and should begin at a young age. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, your child can at times end up with cavities needing dental filling treatment from a pediatric dentist near you.
When dentists identify cavities they will also offer different types of dental fillings that can be used to fill the cavity and help to prevent the decay from spreading. You can choose between composite fillings or amalgam fillings as each material has its benefits and disadvantages. As a parent, you may want to preserve the appearance of your child without having him or her display the fillings in their mouths. You will, therefore, have to consider carefully and discuss the options with the dentist to give your child the best treatment available to preserve tooth health.
Baby teeth are not permanent but they are only teeth your child will have until the permanent teeth erupt. When the matter of preserving your child’s oral health is concerned the pediatric dentist will prefer to drill out the cavities in the child’s teeth and use either composite resin or silver amalgam fillings as you may have discussed. Amalgam fillings are certainly stronger but composite resin fillings are aesthetically pleasing for the child.
Fillings among children have become quite common with the increasing number of children falling prey to tooth decay before the age of five. It has been reported that children as young as two years old have undergone root canal treatments because they could not or did not maintain proper oral hygiene. If your child is facing a similar problem you may consider using the affordable option of having metal fillings which are easier to put in and are a cost-effective option compared to composite resin. Your child may not prefer the looks of metal fillings but you may be compelled to have them in your child’s mouth knowing full well that the tooth will eventually fall out in a few years. Your dental insurance may also dictate the type of fillings your child can get.
Composite resin or tooth-colored fillings match the physical appearance and the color of the natural teeth and are preferred by most pediatric dentists as restorations in aesthetic areas. They can also be used successfully on the molars and other chewing surfaces as long as the fillings are relatively small. The dentist may recommend silver fillings for larger cavities or the ones that are in between the teeth. However, both types of dental fillings composite resin or silver amalgam can be used to fill teeth that have been affected by decay.
Children are just as anxious as adults in the dentist’s chair and therefore need to be comforted before beginning the procedure. Pediatric dentists sometimes provide oral sedation or nitrous oxide to relax the child and a local anesthetic will also be administered to numb the tooth before the decay is removed. The prepared tooth is exposed to an acid etch and a resin bonding material before the composite is placed on the tooth. Blue light is placed on the filling to harden it after it is in place. Any adjustments needed to make the child comfortable when biting are made at the end of the procedure.
The child does not feel any pain when getting a filling placed after the initial process of numbing the tooth. He or she will feel the cold water that is sprayed on the tooth and some pressure but will feel no pain because of the local anesthetic. The procedure is completed quickly and some children may experience sensitivity on the tooth for a couple of weeks but gradually subsides with time.
The Dentist in Royal Palm Beach, FL, as well as Hirsch pediatric dentistry, recommends those baby teeth with cavities should be treated as soon as possible. If the decay is extensive the bacteria in the cavity can cause a dental abscess that can affect the developing permanent tooth below the gum line. Dentists, therefore, recommend that children be taught the value of oral hygiene from a young age to ensure they do not develop cavities that need dental filling treatment or in severe cases even a root canal.