Your child’s primary teeth are crucial for not only helping them eat, but guiding permanent teeth in place. Which is why their health, and ensuring they fall out on schedule, is crucial. But what if a primary tooth develops a cavity? In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist explains why even baby teeth need fillings!
The Causes of Tooth Decay
Each primary tooth, and the permanent ones as well, will be coated in a thin layer of enamel. The hardest substance in the entire human body, enamel protects the sensitive inner structures from bacteria, safeguarding smiles against complications like tooth decay and infection. However, an injury that damages a tooth, or poor oral hygiene that encourages plaque buildup and weakens the enamel, could exposes the inner dentin to bacteria. A cavity then forms!
The Dangers of Ignoring Decay in a Baby Tooth
As the cavity spreads and makes contact with the inner pulp, the tooth will begin to hurt. While baby teeth do fall out, this could happen months later, which means the decay could spread and cause a painful infection, or even lead to the tooth falling out prematurely or requiring extraction to prevent the spread of infection. Losing the tooth early then alters how the permanent teeth erupt, which means misalignment is much more likely!
When to Let Us Know
When should your child visit us for treatment? If you attend routine six-month checkup and cleaning visits, and we highly encourage kids to do this, then we have the opportunity to diagnose a cavity in the very early stages of demineralization, often before the tooth begins to hurt! Otherwise, you may not realize your child needs care until the later stages, at which point not only does the tooth hurt and feel sensitive, but the risk of infection has increased significantly.
Treatment with a Filling
When we find your child needs a filling, we will start the process by addressing your little one’s questions and concerns, before using a local anesthetic to ensure their comfort. Next, we remove the decay from the tooth before cleaning it thoroughly. We may also etch the surfaces too. We prepare and place the filling material, a metal-free composite resin that we tint to match the rest of the tooth structure’s color. We then shape the tooth as we cure the composite resin under a special light. The last step involves polishing the tooth, and we may also provide fluoride treatments to strengthen the rest of the smile too.
Does Your Child Have a Toothache?
We want to make sure children in our community obtain the care needed to enjoy optimal oral health. To learn more about our approach to keeping little smiles healthy, 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.