Dental Fillings with a Pediatric Dentist

Dental Fillings with a Pediatric Dentist
Posted on 10/30/2019

Did you know that tooth decay (more commonly known as cavities) is the #1 chronic childhood illness? According to a study done by the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, an estimated 16 million children in the United States have untreated tooth decay. Fortunately, cavities in children are completely treatable. Your local pediatric dentistry, Larry Caldwell, DDS & Associates, can treat cavities with dental fillings offered at our Sugar Land and Wharton, TX offices.

What is a Dental Filling?

A dental filling is a way of restoring a damaged tooth after a cavity has caused it to decay. When your child receives a dental filling, his or her pediatric dentist first removes the decay from the tooth then coats the area with a filling material. This protects the tooth by sealing off the area where bacteria can enter, thus preventing more damage and decay. If left untreated, bacteria will continue to decay the tooth down to the nerve inside, leaving a root canal as the only viable treatment option. So, in sum, dental fillings are a great, painless alternative for preventing decay from escalating to a more damaging point.

Types of Dental Fillings

There are several types of metal fillings and tooth-colored fillings offered by professionals in the dental industry. Not every filling is right for every patient. A person’s treatment depends on several factors, including:

  • The extent of repair required
  • Whether or not the patient has allergies to certain materials
  • And where the filling is needed

The most common types of dental fillings are described below. Our Sugar Land and Wharton, TX pediatric dentistry may not offer all these dental fillings at a given time, but we want you to be aware of the different options that exist for handling dental decay.

Metal Fillings

Amalgam fillings are a durable and very affordable option for most patients, but they’re also more noticeable due to their dark coloring. These classic “silver” fillings are made of a combination of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. While the mercury in this alloy makes some people nervous, there is no need for health concerns, as it is perfectly safe in this situation.

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Composite fillings (or composite resins) are made to match the exact color of teeth. As a result, they are a popular choice for patients who prefer that their fillings look as natural as possible. Composite fillings are made of a mixture of plastic and glass and last almost as long as traditional amalgam fillings.

Porcelain fillings, commonly known as inlays or onlays, are high-tech dental fillings that are stain-resistant and generally cover most of the tooth. Like composite fillings, they are made in a laboratory to match the color of teeth for a natural appearance. Porcelain fillings cost about the same as gold fillings, but their glass composition can sometimes cause them to be more brittle than other filling options.

What to Expect When Getting a Filling

Our caring and experienced staff will discuss which dental filling option is best suited for your child, then walk both of you through the filling procedure ahead of time so that you know exactly what to expect. During the actual treatment, your child’s pediatric dentist will explain every step along the way so that you and your child are always aware of what is happening.

To begin the process, your child’s pediatric dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the targeted tooth, preventing any discomfort during the treatment. If injections are a source of anxiety for your child, please let us know so that we can use nitrous oxide or another anesthetic method to calm his or her nerves. Your child’s pediatric dentist will then remove the decay and clean the affected area of any bacteria or infection. Finally, he will clean the area of all debris and fill the cavity with the predetermined dental filling material you’ve decided on

Protect Your Child’s Teeth Today

Cavities in children are very common and easily treatable by a pediatric dentist. However, only a pediatric dentist can detect whether your child has a cavity. If left undetected, tooth decay can lead to bigger dental problems, so it is important to schedule routine checkups with our Sugar Land or Wharton, TX office.

If it’s time for a checkup, or you think your child may have a cavity, don’t wait! Book an appointment online or contact our pediatric dentistry directly today. We can help make your child’s most recent cavity their last!