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Tooth Colored Fillings
Cavities in young children are very common. The reality is, almost one-third of children ages 2 to 5 years in the United States get them. While primary teeth (otherwise known as baby teeth) will eventually fall out, it is still very important to treat cavities and keep teeth healthy, just like you would for permanent teeth. That's because these primary teeth still play important roles, including helping your child to chew food thoroughly, develop proper speech patterns, and serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth.
An untreated cavity can also progress and reach the tooth's inner core, exposing the nerve and causing pain for your child. If this is not treated early, it can lead to them needing a root canal.
Why Choose Tooth Colored Fillings?
Similar in color and texture to natural teeth, composite, or tooth colored fillings, are less noticeable and much more attractive than other types of fillings, providing your child with a confident smile.
For restoration in aesthetic areas, most pediatric dentists prefer this type of filling. They can also be used on molars or other chewing surfaces if the filling is relatively small. For larger fillings, or fillings between teeth, silver fillings (amalgam) may be recommended, as these are often stronger.
How Are Tooth Colored Fillings Placed in the Teeth?
The process of filling a cavity for a child is very similar to the treatment for an adult.
Prior to placing any filling, children are made to feel comfortable, sometimes using either pediatric oral sedation or nitrous oxide. The tooth affected is then made numb utilizing regional anesthesia, and the decay is eliminated. The preparation in the tooth is then exposed to acid etch and a resin bonding product prior to the composite being placed. When the filling is in location, a blue light is placed on the filling, making it hard. Finally, adjustments are made to ensure the child is comfortable biting.
Does Getting a Filling Hurt?
At Barnes, McDonnel & Parsons we do everything we can to ensure your child feels comfortable in our office. While it may be a little scary to get a filling, especially for the first time, after the initial process of making the area numb, your child shouldn't feel any pain while getting their filling.
After the filling is placed, it is common for some children to experience some sensitivity on the tooth affected. This could last up to two weeks, but decreases with time.
How to Care for Composite, Tooth Colored Fillings
Once the filling is placed, it's important (as always) for children to maintain good oral health habits by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. This will help keep their fillings strong and prevent recurrent decay.