Dr. Stettler at Kids Rock often recommend composite resin or tooth color fillings. These pediatric fillings are generally strong and resistant to the daily pressures that a tooth may be subjected to, making it an ideal material for this purpose.
WHEN ARE FILLINGS NECESSARY?
During the dental exam, Dr. Stettler may identify cavities. The digital x-rays used in our office, along with a tooth by tooth exam with a dental explorer can help uncover areas of decay. As long as the decay is not too large, in which case it would need a root canal, the tooth can be treated with a simple filling.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT OPTIONS FOR DIRECT FILLINGS?
For the most part, there are two types of direct pediatric dental fillings that are done in our pediatric dental office. These are either composite (white fillings) or amalgam (silver fillings). While amalgam fillings are often stronger, composite fillings are more aesthetic.
WHY CHOOSE TOOTH COLORED FILLINGS?
Composite, or tooth colored fillings, match the color and physical appearance of our natural teeth closely and is preferred by most pediatric dentists for restorations made in aesthetic areas. They are also used successfully on molars or other chewing surfaces, as long as the fillings are relatively small. For larger fillings, or those that go in between the teeth (interproximal decay), silver fillings may be recommended. However, for the most part, both types are filling material, be it composite or amalgam, can be used to restore teeth that have been affected by decay.
HOW ARE FILLINGS PLACED INSIDE TEETH?
Before placing any pediatric filling, children are made to feel comfortable in the dental setting. Sometimes this is achieved by using techniques in pediatric oral sedation or nitrous oxide. The tooth affected is made numb using local anesthesia, and the decay is removed. The preparation in the tooth is then exposed to acid etch and a resin bonding material before the composite is placed onto the tooth. Once the filling is in place, a blue light is placed on the filling, making it hard. Finally, adjustments are made so that the child is comfortable biting.
DOES IT HURT TO GET FILLINGS?
After the initial process of making the child numb, the child no longer feels pain while getting a pediatric filling placed. Nevertheless, throughout the preparation process, the child may feel the cold water that is sprayed on the tooth and may also feel pressure. Overall, the process is completed fairly quickly and is mostly painless. After the filling is placed, it is common for some children to experience sensitivity on the tooth. This sensitivity could last up to two weeks, but it dies down with time.
HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF FILLINGS?
After having the fillings placed, it is very important for children to maintain good oral habits by brushing and flossing two times a day. This way they can prevent recurrent decay from happening and can keep their fillings strong.