Children and Dental Fillings: Frequently Asked Questions
Dental decay doesn't just affect adults. Nearly 20 percent of kids between the ages of 5 and 11, and 13 percent of teens age 12 through 19 have at least one untreated cavity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hearing that your young child has a cavity may seem like a shock. You've had cavities, but you probably didn't expect that your oral hygiene–conscious child would too.
Poor dental care (not brushing or flossing) as well as consuming high-sugar and high acid foods and beverages can lead to dental caries (decay). Some children may still develop cavities despite a healthy mouth routine. If your child's dentist diagnoses a cavity, the next step is a restoration (filling).
Children, and parents too, may feel some anxiety before the dentist fills a cavity. Learning about pediatric dental fillings can help to ease some of the pre-procedure stress. Take a look at what you need to know about cavities, restorations (fillings), and your child's dental health.
Why Does Your Child Need a Filling?
Leaving a cavity untreated is likely to lead to the spread of infection. This includes both primary (baby) and permanent teeth. The dentist needs to remove the decay in order to stop the decay process. Once the dentist removes the decay he will replace it with something else so the tooth will have the correct shape or support.
The restoration (filling) does exactly what you'd expect based on the name — it restores (fills) the tooth. This leaves your child's tooth decay-free and whole again.
What Types of Pediatric Fillings Are Available?
Several different types of fillings are available. Adults often have silver amalgam or even gold fillings. Some adults also have composite fillings, which are made from resin and plastic, ceramic porcelain fillings, or glass ionomer fillings.
How Will the Dentist Choose the Filling?
Several factors go into the dentist's choice of filling material. These include the location of the cavity (where in the mouth and on what part of the tooth), your child's age, your child's individual dental history, and durability issues related to your child's age and activities.
Will the Filling Hurt?
The dentist will do everything they can to make your child comfortable. This includes numbing the area with topical (brush on) anesthetic. This is done before proceeding with other techniques for making your child comfortable, like nitrous oxide and local anesthetic.
Does your child have a cavity? Contact Airport Road Dental Associates, PC, for more information on dental filling options.