My Kid Has a Cavity; Now What?

As a parent, it can be frustrating and sometimes frightening to learn that your child has a dental issue like a cavity. Your first reaction may be to worry what restorative treatment will entail, followed quickly by questions about how his or her smile will be affected cosmetically. You may also be wondering what can be done to prevent future cavities. Pediatric dentists offer ways to address cavities that can improve your child’s comfort while chewing, and his or her confidence. Plus, the dentist can help teach you and your child how to prevent dental decay in the future.

How Do Dental Fillings Work?

Dental fillings are often the best way to address a cavity, because they are a minimally invasive way to help protect fragile teeth from further wear. This can also help eliminate discomfort or pain that can occur when the interior of a tooth has become exposed, due to decay.

Modern fillings are often made of composite resin, instead of metal, which has been proven safer for many patients, including children. These resin filling are also more comfortable. The resin does not conduct as much heat as metal, which means less sensitivity when enjoying hot or cold foods or drinks. Plus, the resin bonds tightly with the teeth, and requires less space than metal, allowing more of your child’s natural tooth to be preserved.

Another benefit of tooth-colored fillings is that they provide cosmetic benefits. The resin can be made to match your child’s natural tooth coloring and shape, to create a nearly seamless restoration.

When treated promptly, a dental filling can help prevent a cavity from progressing to the point of infection. This can save your child from more extreme discomfort, and prevent the need for more invasive procedures like a root canal to treat infection.

As for protecting the other teeth from decay, preventive care is key. Regular checkups and cleanings can reduce your child’s risk of developing future cavities. But dental sealants can also help, by limiting plaque’s ability to form on the teeth. Ask your pediatric dentist if your child could benefit from the use of a sealant like fluoride.

filed under: Children's Dental Services, Restorations for Kids