Dental Fillings: Get the Facts on Different Types

December 2, 2021

When tooth decay begins, it creates permanent damage in the tooth, creating a cavity that needs filling. If your child develops a hole, you may disregard the advice of the pediatric dentist near you, thinking children will lose their primary teeth for permanent teeth to erupt. However, you are committing a grave error because you must care for your child’s primary teeth by getting them filled to prevent the decay from spreading.

If you wonder why your child needs fillings soon after a cavity is detected, a couple of dental fillings in Houston, TX, provide support to support their recommendation.

The permanent teeth of your child nestle below the primary teeth. If you don’t get dental fillings for your child on the primary teeth, the infection spreads until it eventually affects the permanent teeth nestling below.

If your child loses the primary tooth before the permanent tooth erupts, the remaining teeth in your child’s mouth shift out of alignment, causing the permanent teeth to appear impacted or crooked.

Getting fillers for your child as recommended by dental fillings near you ensures the spreading of the decay is prevented, allowing you to avoid significant and more expensive dental treatments later. Unfortunately, children are prone to developing cavities as they frequently snack on sugary and starchy foods. Children are also negligent with their dental hygiene and find ways to sneak through even if supervised constantly.

Filling Cavities: What to Expect?

When filling cavities in children’s teeth, the dentist initially numbs the area around the tooth with local anesthesia. After your child’s tooth is entirely numb, the dentist removes the decayed area with help from a dental drill, laser, or air abrasion device.

After decay removal, the dentist probes the area to determine whether all decay is removed. The hollow space is prepared for the filling after cleaning the cavity of debris and bacteria.

The is no reason for children with cavities in their teeth to stop smiling after getting dental fillings in them. However, pediatric dentists are fully aware of how they can help maintain your child’s smile and are cautious about providing them tooth-colored fillings made from composite resin materials.

Tooth-colored fillings require several additional steps. After the dentist removes the decay and cleans the hollow cavity, the tooth-colored material is applied in layers to the child’s tooth. Each layer is hardened with ultraviolet light before using the next layer. After completing the multi-layering process, the dentist shapes the composite material for optimal results. The dentist also polishes the tooth and removes any material on the filled tooth.

What Filling Materials Are Available for Cavity Restorations?

Different types of filling materials are available for cavity restorations. You can have filling materials like gold, silver amalgam, composite resin, porcelain, and glass ionomer. However, as your child needs dental fillings, the best option is to adhere to the advice of the pediatric dentist for the best results.

Silver amalgam fillings are the most affordable variety, and tooth-colored composite resin fillings cost more than silver amalgam. However, pediatric dentists consider your child’s smile before recommending any particular material as fillers in the child’s cavity. Therefore it helps if you follow the dentist’s advice to ensure your child’s smile is not impacted.

When to Replace a Dental Filling?

Dental fillings have a lifespan of between five to 15 years. Silver amalgam, gold, and porcelain last for 15 years or more, while composite resin fillings last merely five years. However, gold and porcelain fillings are ten times more expensive than amalgam or composite resin.

Regarding the question about when to replace a filling, you must understand no predetermined time has been set by dentists for fillings to wear off. The lifespan of dental fillers depends on the care and attention they receive. In addition, dental fillings can loosen due to excessive wear or mouth-related habits.

Dentists examine dental fillings during routine visits for dental exams and cleanings. If they detect loose fillings, they recommend replacing the fillers immediately to prevent tooth decay from making an appearance all over again. If you are fortunate, your child may have the dental fillers in the tooth for five years or longer if they maintain acceptable dental hygiene practices and you prevent them from having the sugary foods and beverages they are accustomed to. Regular dental visits also help you ensure the fillers in your child’s tooth are optimal. However, you must remember dental fillers don’t last for a lifetime and need replacements sooner or later because they eventually wear off.