6 Questions Every Parent Has About Dental Fillings
Learn everything you need to know about your child’s upcoming dental filling appointment.
Dental fillings are the most commonly performed dental services. You may even have a few fillings yourself! But as a parent, when it’s your child needing their first filling, this otherwise routine procedure can suddenly seem a little more serious.
The good news is the process of getting a dental filling is often just as simple and trouble-free for a child as it is for an adult. That being said, we find that many of our parents naturally have a few questions about their child’s upcoming filling appointment.
Here are some of the most common questions we’re asked by the parents of our little patients.
1. Do kids need fillings done on baby teeth, even though they’re going to fall out anyway?
When you discover your child needs a filling on a baby tooth, it’s very reasonable to question whether the treatment is even needed since the tooth will be lost regardless. In most cases, if your child’s baby tooth will still be around for a while, it’s a good idea to move forward with a filling.
Untreated decay can spread quickly, resulting in the premature loss of the tooth. Baby teeth may not be permanent, but they’re very important for proper speech, chewing, and the correct alignment of future adult teeth. By treating a baby tooth, your child will be able to keep their baby tooth as long as naturally possible. Their grownup teeth will also grow in with better alignment, and you will prevent additional or unnecessary orthodontic treatments.
2. What filling options are available for my child?
Materials used for dental fillings have come a long way over the years!
Silver amalgam fillings have moved aside as tooth-colored composite fillings have taken over as the go-to option for patients of all ages. In fact, Dr. Mo and Dr. G only offer composite fillings now since they are mercury-free, super durable, and seamlessly match your child’s smile.
The only time you might see silver in your child’s mouth now is if a stainless steel crown is needed for extra tooth protection.
3. What do dental fillings do and what issues can they fix?
A filling restores the normal structure and the function of the tooth by filling the cavity or space left in a tooth after tooth decay has been removed. When decay is present, it weakens the enamel and dense the tooth. The filling not only helps cosmetically return to the tooth to a normal appearance, but it also protects the tooth from any further damage.
Dental fillings are primarily used for restorative after decay removal, but they can also be used to fix any fractures or chips due to trauma on the tooth surface as well.
4. Will my child feel any pain when the filling is being done?
Most of the fillings at Must Love Kids Pediatric dental practice can be done using hard tissue laser with or without any shots depending upon the extent of the decay. These fillings are often a pain-free process or cause mild discomfort, but some factors can affect the level of discomfort your child might feel. For example, a tooth with an extensive decay may be tender and inflamed, making it more sensitive until the tooth is fully numbed.
At our practice our the board certified Pediatric dentists and our experienced registered hygienist use the computer-assisted anesthetic technique which reduces the discomfort during the numbing. But kids can also confuse their own nervousness or anticipation of pain as pain. Think of it as a child with a scraped knee yelling “ow!” before you have even touched the wounded area. But again, our very compassionate and highly skilled staff use all the behavior-modification tools like a comforting voice, tell, show and do and multiple breaks in between treatment to comfort the kids and make it as comfortable as possible.
Dr. Mo and Dr. G always take things slowly and surely when it comes to ensuring your child is completely numb and comfortable before beginning any sort of dental work.
5. What if my child needs a filling but he/she is afraid of the dentist?
Dental anxiety is very common with kids, especially youngsters who simply haven’t visited a dentist often enough to understand they are friends. Just as Dr. Mo and Dr. G take things slowly with numbing to ensure there is no to minimal pain, they also take it slowly with kids who are feeling afraid, nervous, and stressed. At our practice our the board certified Pediatric dentists and our experienced registered hygienist uses the computer assisted anesthetic technique which reduces the discomfort during the numbing.
In addition our very compassionate and highly skilled staff uses all the behavior-modification tools like comforting voice, tell, show and do and multiple breaks in between treatment to comfort the kids and make it as comfortable as possible. In short, on our end, we do our very best to make our young patients feel calm, confident, and secure by focusing on building a trusting relationship.
Helping anxious kids is a team effort between parents and dentists. We encourage parents to talk to their kids about the dentist in a positive manner and do what they can to set their child up for success at their appointment. When parents express their trust in their child’s dentist it assures the children and encourages them to establish that trust with the dentist and the staff faster, making it easier for them to do well during their appointments.
In cases where none of these efforts help children, we also offer in-office sedation provided by a board certified MD anesthesiologist as well as Hospital general anesthesia to help relax nervous kids or kids with special health care needs while we provide the highest standard of care while maintaining comfort for kids and their families..
6. My child needs multiple fillings—what can I do to help prevent cavities?
It’s not uncommon for a child to see us with multiple cavities that need fillings. This can be a shock to parents, and sometimes cause parents to feel as if they somehow failed. We want to reassure parents that there is absolutely no reason to feel guilty! Sometimes cavities happen. The most important thing is to take extra care to double-down on cavity prevention moving forward.
After your child has had their fillings completed, Dr. Mo and Dr. G work as a team with you and help you create a cavity prevention program consisting of biannual dental visits and cleanings, application of dental sealants and fluoride on your child’s teeth, and advice on nutrition for a smile-friendly diet.
We are a judgment-free zone for our patients and their parents! Each kid is treated as our own and we believe together we can surely set our kids for success.
Book your child’s dental filling appointment now with the team at Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry.
When you’re ready to book your child’s next visit with us, just give our office a call or fill out our online request form. And if you or your child have more questions about fillings, please feel free to ask us!