A dental filling is used to restore the structure of the tooth after removing tooth decay or suffering from dental trauma. Fillings are also used after treating an infected tooth with root canal therapy. Fillings are an effective, minimally-invasive restorative option from our Beaumont office that prevent decay from worsening and can save a tooth from extraction.
Your child’s teeth are important for chewing, speaking, and maintaining space in the mouth for the permanent tooth to erupt. It is important to take care of your child’s baby teeth so they don’t lose the tooth prematurely.
If this occurs, they will need to get a space maintainer to prevent the other teeth from shifting and blocking the eruption of the permanent tooth.
Composite resin fillings are applied in layers.
Your child will need to come in for a consultation with Dr. Kruizenga. An oral exam will be performed and x-rays may be taken to get a closer look at the inside of the tooth.
After administering local anesthesia, our Beaumont team will use a dental drill to remove decay from the tooth.
After cleaning and drying the tooth, an acid etch gel will be applied to help the bonding process.
Composite resin is applied in layers and cured with UV light to instantly harden each layer. Additional shaping and contouring can be performed after the filling has hardened and the tooth is then polished.
At Kindred Pediatric Dentistry, we exclusively use tooth-colored composite resin fillings for superior aesthetics and safety. Unlike silver amalgam fillings which leave a noticeable silver appearance in the mouth, composite fillings match the natural shade of your teeth.
Amalgam fillings also contain mercury, which is not suitable for pregnant women or children with metal allergies. Composite resin does not contain any mercury and requires less removal of the natural tooth enamel than metal fillings.
We can preserve more of your natural tooth and they can be completed in a single visit at our Beaumont practice. Amalgam fillings take up to 24 hours to harden but composite fillings harden instantly because they are cured with UV light.
Patients don’t have to wait to eat except for the numbing agent wearing off. Composite fillings also cause less tooth sensitivity compared to amalgam fillings. One drawback of composite fillings is that they are less durable and have a shorter lifespan compared to metal fillings.
However, since they blend in with your natural teeth, don’t contain mercury, and are still durable, most of our patients prefer composite fillings over silver amalgam.
Your little one doesn’t have to worry about feeling any pain from the filling procedure. Fillings are minimally invasive treatments that are painless and only take 20 minutes to an hour to complete.
We will apply a topical numbing gel to reduce any discomfort from the needle used to administer local anesthesia. This completely numbs their mouth so they can’t feel pain from the dental drill or any other tools.
In addition to numbing agents, we also offer mild to deep dental sedation for anxious patients. Sedation will deeply relax your child and melt away their feelings of stress and anxiety. It also helps to prevent pain sensations, increase their comfort, and improve cooperation.
The entire process will be over before they know it and if your child has received sedation, they will have a hard time remembering anything that happened during the appointment. This is great for reducing future anxiety in anticipation of going to the dentist.
Fillings are not painful but leaving a cavity untreated is. This can cause the cavity to grow and lead to a tooth infection which causes inflammation in the tooth’s pulp, which is connected to the nerves responsible for sensation.
How long your fillings will last depends on the type of fillings your child receives, the location of the fillings, wear and tear, and oral hygiene. Amalgam fillings are made of strong metals which are more durable than composite resin, so they last longer.
Amalgam fillings have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Since these fillings are stronger and more durable, we recommend placing these fillings in the rear teeth that are used for chewing or in teeth with large cavities.
Composite fillings are less durable and last for an average of 5 to 7 years, but with proper care, they can last up to 10. These fillings are more suitable for the front teeth because of their aesthetic qualities.
When they’re placed in the rear teeth, they will degrade faster than amalgam fillings. To prolong the lifespan of your fillings, practice good oral hygiene, wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth, and don’t use your teeth to open packages.
Cavities form when food particles are left behind from improper oral hygiene, which causes plaque buildup. Bacteria convert sugars into acids that attack your enamel. Over time, these lead to holes (cavities).
To prevent this from happening, limit your sugar consumption. Brush your teeth two times a day with fluoride toothpaste. After brushing your teeth, don’t forget to brush your tongue. Only use toothbrushes with soft bristles and avoid hard bristles that can erode your enamel.
Floss once a day and go to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning every 6 months. Fluoride protects your teeth from cavities. Drink fluoridated water if possible or use a mouth rinse that contains fluoride. Contact us at Kindred Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule a consultation with Beaumont pediatric dentist Dr. Meghanne.
Composite resin is the same material used in dental bonding.