When treating a cavity, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth and fill it with another substance. This procedure is called a filling. There are multiple options for the material to be used in the filling, the most common of which are composite fillings and amalgam fillings (silver-coloured filling material). A composite filling is also known as a tooth-coloured filling, since the material used in the filling can be closely matched to the colour of your teeth. Composite fillings provide good durability for small to medium cavities, and the procedure typically involves removing less of a tooth than you would during an amalgam filling. They are well suited for treating front or highly visible teeth because of their natural look. When can a composite filling be used? Decayed tooth (i.e. cavity) Chipped or broken teeth Decreasing the gap between teeth How its done The dentist numbs the area where the filling is to be placed. He/she will remove any decayed portion of the tooth. A bonding agent is applied, and hardened and cured with a special light. The filling is applied in thin layers to slowly form the complete filling. The dentist will smooth and polish the filling to be comfortable and fit your bite.
Children eventually lose their primary teeth (baby teeth), however, that set of teeth needs to survive until the adult teeth pushes them out of the gums. There are consequences of losing the baby teeth too early. Why do Dentists fill baby teeth? Baby teeth are the only teeth in your child’s mouth for years until the adult teeth come in. Baby teeth help the adult teeth come in properly by maintaining the right amount of space for the adult teeth to come in. If trauma has happened to the tooth to cause a crack or there are other issues i.e. incorrectly shaped teeth or underdeveloped teeth. How do they fill it? Dentists fill the baby teeth with the same filling material for adult teeth (tooth-coloured composite material). Sometimes Extraction Is Necessary If the decay is so advanced it could cause infection or pain for your child then extraction becomes the best option. A space maintainer is recommended to keep the space until the adult tooth erupts. Kids Sometimes Get Laughing Gas and/or Oral Sedation When children are having cavities filled, dentists sometimes recommend the use of nitrous oxide, commonly called laughing gas and/or oral sedation. This minimal sedation reduces anxiety and distracts them from the pain associated with both getting that local anesthetic shot in the gums and getting a tooth drilled. Nitrous oxide doesn’t work for all kids, and your dentist may opt to go with an orally administered sedative, instead. Not all dentists can offer nitrous oxide, so it’s best to check beforehand. The Number of Fillings in One Sitting Depends on the Kid Dentist’s number one priority when treating kids is not to create a traumatic experience. When dentists fix cavities for kids, sometimes they do all the cavities at once and sometimes they do only one at a time because some children are fine sitting in the chair for long periods of time, while others are not. Dentists want the best outcome for the kid. Providing quality oral care to a crying child is very difficult for both the kids and the parents. If you’re anxious about your child’s first filling, our dentists will put you at ease. We develop a treatment plan that is right for you and your child, with an aim to preserve the baby teeth until the adult teeth come in. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to keep teaching your