When you have a cavity, your instinct may be to see your dentist to have it filled. When your child has a cavity in one of their primary teeth, however, you might wonder if filling it is really necessary. The short is answer is usually yes; any instance of tooth decay should be addressed as soon as possible and not allowed to progress further. The more extensive answer is that tooth decay is more than just the cavity you see, and leaving one in your child’s primary tooth could spell significant trouble for their adult smiles later in life.
The nature of chronic tooth decay
Cavities are a product of tooth decay, which is essentially an infection in your child’s tooth that’s caused by the bacteria in plaque and tartar. This is an important detail for several reasons; most importantly, it means the problem will only grow worse the longer you wait to bring your child to the dentist. The fact that primary teeth are destined to fall out eventually is why many parents wonder if treating a cavity is necessary. However, the decay in your child’s baby tooth can spread faster than you realize, causing significant problems for your child’s oral health before the tooth falls out on its own.
The underlying threat of ignoring it
As your child’s tooth decays from a cavity, the permanent tooth underneath it continues developing until it’s ready to erupt. This won’t occur until the primary tooth falls out on its own, and by then, the decay may have already affected the permanent tooth structure. This is one of the primary reasons why filling a baby tooth matters; the sooner we can save your child’s tooth, the better chance we have at preventing the decay from becoming a bigger threat.
How we can treat your child’s cavity
The need to treat the decay in your child’s primary tooth doesn’t outweigh the need to minimize the extent of any treatment for your child’s teeth. That’s why we typically recommend using tooth-colored composite resin to treat children’s cavities. The resin creates a natural, tooth-colored restoration that conforms precisely to the shape of your child’s cavity, which minimizes the need to prepare the cavity beforehand. With a tooth-colored filling, your child’s primary tooth can regain its health and strength until it’s ready to naturally fall out and make way for its healthy permanent replacement.
Learn more about fillings for kids
If your child has a cavity, it’s important to address it as soon as possible, even if it’s in a primary tooth. To learn more, 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.