What are Composite Fillings for Kids?
Absolutely nothing can replace the importance of routine brushing and flossing your children’s teeth. However, despite our best efforts, cavities sometimes still happen and may require a permanent tooth filling. When they do, we’re here for you.
What is a Composite Filling?
Composite fillings are typically a mix of glass, quartz, silica, or porcelain particles. Our composite filling resin is a mixture of plastics and silica. This mixture is soft enough to be packed into the small or medium sized area of the tooth where the cavity was and be shaped to your child’s bite pattern before hardening.
Why is a Composite Filling Preferred Over Amalgam Fillings?
The fact that composite fillings won’t stand out and tell the world you have a filling in your tooth is a benefit most people appreciate enough for it to be the single reason they prefer it. However, they also have the advantage over amalgam fillings in that they harden more quickly and can result in a shorter visit for you and your child.
How Long Does a Composite Filling Last?
When a composite filling is applied to your child’s tooth, it remains important to continue with proper hygiene and care for the teeth. The twice daily routine of brushing and flossing cannot be understated. Composite resin fillings on permanent teeth can have a life span of ten years or more when properly cared for. Yearly dental visits will help extend the life of your child’s fillings as well.
Why is a Composite Filling Necessary for a Baby Tooth?
The repair of your child’s primary teeth is just as important as it would be on permanent teeth. Primary teeth are vital to your child’s necessary development in their ability to speak properly, chew foods, and smile. Allowing decay or damage to a primary tooth to go unrepaired would be harmful in many ways. Perhaps most immediately because it can be painful for your child. Additionally, the decay could spread to the root of the tooth and cause it to die or infect other surrounding teeth. Extracting primary teeth ahead of their body’s natural schedule can cause problems with the future eruption of the permanent teeth. It is important to provide care and repair all teeth, even fillings in baby teeth.
When is a Composite Filling Appropriate for My Child’s Tooth?
We provide many tooth decay treatment options. For cracks or small to medium sized cavities, we can usually repair the tooth by using a composite filling. This filling is the cavity treatment and will seal any opening in the tooth to protect it from bacteria infiltration and restore it to its proper functioning. Alternatives to filling cavities in baby teeth depend on the state of the tooth and its level of decay. We will discuss with you any alternatives available, if appropriate, before performing the procedure of a composite filling.
What does a Composite Filling Look Like?
For our composite fillings, we use a composite resins mixture. These resins are a combination of plastics and silica. Unlike the traditional amalgam fillings whose metal ingredient lend a more obvious metal aesthetic, the mix of plastics and silica in our composite fillings are an almost translucent color and therefore able to be mixed with a tint in a way that allows the color of the filling to blend in with the natural color of the tooth.
What is the Process of Applying a Composite Filling?
The procedure for filling a child’s cavity is as follows: We will first do a thorough inspection of your child’s teeth. When a small or medium sized cavity, chip, or crack has been identified and is deemed suitable for a composite filling we will talk with you and your child about repairing the tooth with a composite filling. We must first remove any decay or damage to the tooth. Then it is thoroughly cleaned to remove any traces of harmful bacteria. Next, we apply the composite filling to the affected area of the tooth. The composite filling is a malleable substance and is gently packed in to fill in the area removed. We then focus on adjusting the filling to your child’s bite pattern. We want your child to be able to bite down and not feel anything on the tooth. The bite should feel natural and normal. Once the shape of the filling has been adjusted properly, we harden the filling. The filling is bonded to the tooth and hardened by exposure to a special light that cures it.
Will Getting a Filling Hurt?
We can apply a local anesthesia to the site to make this a pain-free procedure. You may still be wondering, “how do dentists fill cavities in toddlers?” Some children may have anxieties about receiving dental care, or due to their young age, be unable to sit still for the procedure. Our goal is that this is a comfortable and tranquil setting for your child. We will discuss with you, your child’s emotions and needs. When local anesthesia may not be the appropriate measure, we offer alternatives. At Utah Pediatric Dental Group, we also offer sedation dentistry services. We provide four different sedation options to our patients and have performed over 25,000 sedations in our time as pediatric dentists serving the Salt Lake City and South Davis County area communities. For more information about our sedation services, please feel free to review our page dedicated to the topic.
Is a Composite Filling Avoidable?
Composite fillings are a reaction to repair decay or damage to a tooth. The best way to avoid composite fillings, is to avoid cavities! Preventative dental care should be a part of your child’s daily routine. Be sure your child brushes their teeth, with a fluoride toothpaste, for two minutes, at least two times a day. There is no harm in you stepping in when they are finished to take a turn too. Flossing at least once a day will help with those pesky tight spaces between teeth also. Taking care by providing healthy choices of snacks and the foods that they eat and setting limits on drinking juices and soda will go a long way to help. Routine visits to the dentist for check-ups and cleanings are also an important part of preventative care.
If you think your child may have a cavity, don’t wait to call us! We will get you in, and provide your child with a peaceful, happy setting for a comfortable experience.
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