Fillings are a very common restoration for adults and children, alike. In fact, childhood tooth decay is a serious issue for people throughout the United States. Our team at Smiley Tooth Pediatric Dental Specialists provides restorative dental services for children that address the seriousness of cavities without sacrificing patients’ comfort and well being. We strive to foster a positive and welcoming environment for children so that they can enjoy a lifetime of vibrant oral health.
Why Restorations are Necessary
Restorations are necessary simply because teeth cannot regenerate new structure to heal themselves. Once a cavity forms, the tooth must be treated with a restoration, otherwise the cavity will worsen and ultimately affect more structures of the tooth. A cavity that isn’t treated can lead to deep infections within the tooth and can even abscess. Untreated decay that advances to the nerve of the tooth requires more invasive treatment such as a pulpotomy, root canal therapy and/or tooth extraction.
Composite resin is an alternative to amalgam fillings that addresses both the aesthetic concerns of dark, metal fillings and the need for a restored, protected tooth after the development of a cavity. This material is beneficial because it is both durable and cosmetically pleasing. Composite resin is made from a mixture of plastic and glass and is tooth-colored so that it will blend in seamlessly with natural tooth structure. Like amalgam, composite resin makes for an effective and durable restoration.
What to Expect During Treatment
Placing a filling is not an invasive procedure. Normally, however, local anesthetic is applied as a precaution to ensure that our patients are comfortable during treatment. Since these restorations are minimally invasive, the most common sensation patients feel is slight pressure when the tooth is prepared for the filling. However, there will be some lingering numbness after treatment from the local anesthetic. During any kind of treatment, our staff is dedicated to making our patients feel welcome and comfortable.
To schedule a checkup or an appointment for a restoration, call our staff at Smiley Tooth Pediatric Dental Specialists today.
Frequently Asked Questions
A filling is a restoration used to treat small areas of decay. When a cavity forms on a tooth, it must be restored to prevent the cavity from becoming deeper and infecting more of the tooth structure. Untreated cavities can lead to deep and painful infections that destroy the internal structure of teeth. A deep cavity can also negatively affect a child’s everyday life by making eating and even speaking uncomfortable. By having a filling placed over a small cavity, children’s teeth will be protected and parents can eliminate complications associated with untreated tooth decay.
A tooth-colored filling is a restoration made from a specific type of material called composite resin. Composite resin is a combination of glass and plastic fused together.
Compared to the conventional filling material, amalgam, tooth-colored fillings offer some distinct benefits. First, composite resin fillings are undetectable as dental work. They look just like natural tooth structure. Secondly, composite resin tends to require less tooth preparation (removal); therefore, allowing patients to retain as much natural structure as possible. This is especially beneficial to children whose permanent teeth have already come in. Lastly, tooth-colored fillings are very durable and can last just as long, if not longer, than conventional amalgam.
Tooth decay is caused by many factors. The enamel can become damaged by acidic foods or drinks, the presence of S. mutans, the specific strain of bacteria that breaks down the enamel. Tooth enamel is the mineralized top layer of teeth that serves as a barrier to oral bacteria. When enamel is damaged by exposure to acidic foods and drinks or cracked and chipped, it will leave the softer, more sensitive structures of teeth vulnerable to harmful bacteria. S. mutans, the strain of bacteria responsible for cavities, is passed from person to person – normally from parents to infants. These bacteria are incredibly common with estimates showing that it is present in the oral cavities of about 99% of the population.