What is a filling?
When a child has a small cavity, chip or other tooth issue, the tooth can be restored with a filling. A filling is essentially a biocompatible material that is placed in the hole created by the cavity or used to build up a broken tooth.
Are white fillings better then silver fillings?
White fillings and silver or amalgam fillings have both been used in dentistry for a very long time. They each have their advantages and disadvantages. In addition to the cosmetic benefits, the white fillings bond to the tooth and so the preparation for the filling can be kept smaller. They also lack the mercury found in the silver fillings. However, the composite/resin fillings are require the area to be kept very dry to properly bond. While this easy to accomplish in cooperative children, it can be difficult in very young children who are not cooperative. The pediatric dentist can discuss the benefits of each.
Are silver or amalgam fillings dangerous?
Amalgam fillings have been used in dentistry for ages. The are very effective and work well. Unfortunately, they do contain minimal amounts of mercury which has been known to have toxic effects in high doses. While the American Dental Association has found them to be safe and non-toxic, it is best that parents research this and make their own informed decision. The pediatric dentist can definitely go over the advantages and disadvantages.
Does my child need to be numbed up for the filling?
Usually the child will need to have local anesthesia placed to do the fillings. Sometimes very small fillings can be done without numbing up child. However, our goal is to make sure your child is comfortable during the treatment and does not experience any pain.
How long do fillings last?
Dental fillings can last a very long time if taken care of. You child will still need to brush and floss on a regularly. If not, the child can get recurrent decay or a new cavity below the filling. Sometimes, as a child's mouth grows their bite changes and they sometimes start biting directly on the filling. This can cause fillings to crack and need to be redone. The pediatric dentist will evaluate the fillings at your child's regular check up appointments.