When you teach your child good hygiene skills and bring them to the dentist regularly for routine checkups and cleanings, you give them a good chance at avoiding things like cavities. However, cavities are the most common dental concern for a reason – it doesn’t take much for them to develop, and children sometimes need a boost in successfully preventing them. If your child develops a cavity in a primary (baby) tooth, we might recommend filling the cavity with a conservative, tooth-colored filling. Although the tooth will fall out eventually and make way for its permanent replacement, stopping the spread of decay and saving the tooth until then will be essential for keeping your child’s smile healthy.
What a tooth filling is for
A tooth filling is a common restoration for permanent teeth that develop cavities. As a product of tooth decay (or tooth infection), a cavity is a small depression that forms in your tooth as oral bacteria erode its structure. Treating the tooth requires cleaning away the bacteria and infected tooth structure, then filling the cavity with biocompatible, tooth-colored composite resin. This helps restore the tooth’s structural integrity, which can be affected by the loss of some of its healthy structure. It also helps protect the exposed part of the tooth from oral bacteria that could lead to decay forming again.
Why baby teeth are different
In a permanent tooth, a filling is designed to last in order to preserve your tooth’s long-term health and integrity. However, many parents mistakenly believe that preserving baby teeth isn’t as important since they’re meant to fall out eventually. The truth, however, is that ignoring decay in any tooth can lead to potentially serious consequences later on. In severe cases, the decay may spread from the primary tooth to the permanent tooth structure developing underneath it. By the time it erupts, it may already be compromised by tooth infection.
When a filling is the right choice
The good news is that preventing tooth decay can be highly successful with the right care and maintenance, and so can saving your child’s teeth from it. After a thorough examination, we can help determine if your child’s baby tooth should receive a tooth filling, and schedule the procedure as soon as possible to improve your child’s chances of avoiding more serious concerns. If your child hasn’t developed a cavity yet, but is at a heightened risk of it, then we may recommend treatment such as fluoride or dental sealants. These can strengthen their teeth and help them fight the formation of tooth decay before it develops.
Learn more about treating your child’s cavity
Tooth fillings are designed to save teeth from cavities, and for some baby teeth, that may be necessary for preserving your child’s future smile and oral health. For more information, schedule an appointment by calling Pediatric Dental Care at Casa Linda in Dallas, TX today at 214-321-4880. We proudly serve patients who live around Casa Linda and all surrounding Dallas communities.