Filling Options For Kids

Posted on: 14 October 2016

No parent likes to hear that their child has a cavity, but it can be somewhat of a relief to find out that the problem tooth is a baby tooth. Most dentists will opt to do a filling in the baby tooth instead of pulling it, unless the adult tooth is already properly positioned to erupt soon. You will have several options of filling materials in this case. The following guide can help you understand them better.

Option #1: Resin

If you are keeping up with six month appointments, cavities will likely be caught early when they are still on the surface of the enamel. In this case, the dentist can quickly remove the beginnings of the cavity and then apply a clear coat of resin to protect the area. This type of resin application only works if the cavity hasn't penetrated the enamel. It is also best for baby teeth, since it isn't designed to last for more than a few years. It provides an invisible yet low cost treatment option.

Option #2: Silver fillings

These are better known in dentistry as amalgam fillings. They are well suited for nearly any type small or medium of cavity because they are durable and inexpensive. Amalgam fillings aren't often used in adults simply because they are easy to see due to the dark silver color. As a cosmetic choice, most adults opt for a less noticeable filling material. On a child's teeth, though, this isn't as much of a concern since the baby tooth will be coming out anyway in a year or two.

Option #3: Composite resin

A composite resin is a filling material developed for durability, with the added benefit that it matches the color of the teeth. This material is best for small cavities because it can't take the same amount of bite force as silver fillings. It also takes longer for the dentist to apply it and it costs more, two reasons why it isn't used as often in children. Still, it can be a viable choice for baby teeth that won't be coming out for several years, especially if they are in the front of the mouth where a silver filling is more noticeable.

Option #4: Crowns

Crowns are not used very often on baby teeth, unless it is on one of the molars that come out last. Then, the crown is still only used if there is an extensive cavity and the dentist is worried that premature tooth removal will lead to more issues. In this case, the dentist may use a preformed stainless steel crown or a resin crown that matches the tooth. For kids, the preformed crown makes more financial sense if it is placed on a baby tooth, since it costs less.

For more help, contact a family dentist in your area such as Adams Dental Center.