At The Kids Dentist, we love seeing our young patients for regular six-monthly check- ups and cleans to prevent tooth decay in children and keep their mouth healthy.
When we do detect cavities in children, our priority is to restore the health of their teeth with a restoration that’s strong, safe and long lasting.
The types of fillings that can be used on children
Tooth filling for children’s teeth is designed in a way that it bonds to teeth. It requires less drilling and less time to fill the tooth. There are two types of generic material used for children’s teeth restoration. Glass ionomer restoration and composite.
At The Kids Dentist, we use bioactive and BPA-Free filling material with good strength and aesthetics.
- One surface tooth filling – One surface tooth filling can exist on the front tooth or back baby tooth use of glass ionomer restoration or composite restoration is required in this case.
- Two surface tooth filling – Two surface tooth fillings can exist on the front tooth or back baby tooth. Two surface fillings that can exist in between teeth will give pain or sensitivity. It is advisable to give a crown on the tooth if the cavity is involving two or more surfaces as the filling will not retain two surfaces of the baby tooth and the long-term result is poor.
- Three or more surface tooth fillings – Three surface tooth fillings can exist on the front tooth or back tooth. It is advisable to give crown on a baby tooth.
In case of deep filling two layer of restorative material is used. Inner layer is calcium hydroxide acts as insulator between filling and tooth surface close to nerve. Calcium hydroxide protects the nerve and prevents nerve irritation in the long run.
Another alternative is to use Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) which is also called cavity fighting liquid. Advantage of using SDF is it desensitizes tooth and arrests cavity which prevents the nerve from irritation from restorative material. Downside of SDF it stains the decayed portion of tooth black and filling looks dark compared to white fillings where tooth is treated without SDF where possible, we use a tooth-coloured filling material called composite resin or glass ionomer restoration when restoring children’s teeth. This is also commonly used for adult tooth fillings.
This white tooth filling can be used on baby teeth and adult teeth.
We prefer to use it because:
- Functionally, in comparison to some temporary materials it is stronger
- It does not require as much tooth preparation as amalgam (silver) fillings
- Aesthetically, it is as close as you can get to the colour and translucency of natural teeth
Dental fillings in children’s teeth are most commonly needed due to tooth decay or caries. There is an increasing prevalence of dental decay in children due to the greater access and hidden sugar in diet.
Apart from tooth decay, other reasons children might need a filling includes:
- Damage from trauma or dental emergency
- Incorrect development of tooth
- After Root canal treatment
- Significant tooth discolouration
In most cases we would recommend treating tooth decay in children. Leaving it untreated or waiting for it to fall out’ can cause the decay to spread within the tooth and to other teeth leading to pain for the child.
We will assess each case and base a decision on how close the tooth is to falling out, whether it is best to restore the tooth, leave the tooth or in some cases remove the tooth.
As Paediatric Dentists, who only work with children, we have the expertise and experience to assess and deal with young children.
We will assess your child and discuss our recommendations with you regarding each individual situation and the best way to complete any treatment required, whether that be in the dental chair with the use of laughing gas (nitrous oxide), or in the hospital under general anaesthetic.
We are often asked over the phone about the cost of fillings and other dental procedures for children. Each situation is different so we can provide parents with a full understanding of the treatment cost and alternatives after your child’s initial consultation.