At Westgrove Dental, our job is to preserve the health of your child’s smile. Sometimes, this means filling a cavity in order to prevent it from spreading and to prevent tooth pain. Fillings are used to treat cavities and ensure the decay cannot spread to additional teeth. The tooth is restored to its original function by filling in the damage created by the cavity. Fillings ensure bacteria cannot penetrate the tooth further.
Many parents prefer white, or composite, filings over the older style of amalgam fillings. Whte fillings can be used anywhere on the teeth, including on front teeth. The fillings are made to match the color of your child’s teeth as closely as possible. This means even if your child has a tooth that has had decay, he or she can still smile as big as ever because the filling won’t be noticeable.
What is the process to receive a filling?
Fillings are a simple procedure and one we do everyday, however, we always want our patients to be ready for the work that is to be done. We recommend going over this procedure with your child prior to their visit to our office.
We will begin by administering a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding area. Then, we remove the decayed portion of the tooth and prepare the tooth for the filling. This is done by a process called etching, in which a gel is placed that helps the filling stay in the tooth. Then,w e apply the filling material. This is quick and easy. Once the filling is in place and has had time to harden, we polish the tooth to ensure it looks as it should.
Does all tooth decay require a filling?
Not all tooth decay will require a filling. For very minor areas of decay, your teeth may benefit from fluoride treatment that can help remineralize the tooth and stave off decay. However, for cavities, especially ones that have exposed the pulp of the tooth, a filling is needed to ensure your child doesn’t experience additional problems. An untreated cavity can lead to tooth pain, infection and even loss of the tooth.
How can I prepare my child for what will happen during the procedure?
We know that many patients, especially children, can experience a bit of anxiety about visiting the dentist. By talking with your child and helping them understand the procedure, they will be ready for their appointment. Your child should not feel any pain during the procedure, however, there will be an injection for the anesthesia, which can feel like a pinch in the gums. The area will be numbed, but your child may feel some sensations such as pressure while the cavity is being filled. There will also be sounds, such as drilling, that your child may benefit from knowing about ahead of time.
We are also always happy to answer questions or address any concerns you or your child may have.