You don't have to live with damage, discoloration, or gaps when it comes to your teeth. There is a procedure that is right for you and your unique situation. From bridges, to dentures, to implants, we can help or point you in the right direction.
Cavities in children are very common and oftentimes easily treatable by a pediatric dentist. However, if left undetected, tooth decay can lead to bigger dental problems, so it is important to schedule routine checkups with our DuPont office. If it’s time for a checkup, or you think your child may have a cavity, don’t wait! Book an appointment online or contact our children’s dentistry practice today. We can help make your child’s most recent cavity their last!
Did you know that tooth decay (more commonly known as cavities) is the #1 chronic childhood illness? According to a study done by the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, an estimated 16 million children in the United States alone have untreated tooth decay. Fortunately, cavities in children are completely treatable. Your local pediatric dentist at Children’s Dentistry of DuPont, Dr. Tracy Takenaka, can treat cavities with one of several types of fillings offered at our DuPont office.
What is a Filling?
A filling is a way of restoring a damaged tooth after a cavity has caused it to decay. When your child receives a filling, our pediatric dentist first removes the decay from the tooth then replaces the lost tooth structure with a filling material. This protects the tooth by sealing off the area where bacteria can enter, thus preventing more damage and decay, and restores the tooth to more optimal function. If left untreated, bacteria will continue to decay the tooth down to the nerve inside, causing pain or possible dental infection, making a root canal or extraction as the only viable treatment options. So fillings are a great, way to prevent a decay issue from escalating to this point.
Types of Fillings
Here at Children’s Dentistry of DuPont, we offer several types of metal fillings and tooth-colored fillings. Not every filling is right for every patient; every person’s treatment depends on several factors. Children's Dentistry of DuPont utilizes the following types of fillings:
Amalgam fillings are a durable and very affordable option for most patients, but they’re also more noticeable due to their dark coloring. These classic “silver” fillings are made of a combination of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. While the mercury in this alloy makes some people nervous, there is no need for health concerns, as it is perfectly safe in this situation.
Composite fillings (or composite resins) are made to match the exact color of your teeth. As a result, they are a popular choice for patients who prefer that their fillings look as natural as possible. Composite fillings are made of a mixture of plastic and glass and last almost as long as traditional amalgam fillings.
Glass ionomer fillings are made of a combination of acrylic and glass powders to create a translucent material that blends in well with your teeth’s natural color. They also release small amounts of fluoride to help prevent tooth decay. Glass ionomer fillings can be appropriate in certain situations but they typically aren't as durable or long-lasting as other filling materials.
Tooth With Cavity After Metal Filling
After Tooth Color Filling
What to Expect When Getting a Filling
Our staff will discuss which of the filling materials listed above is best suited for your child, then walk both of you through the filling procedure ahead of time so that you know exactly what to expect. During the actual treatment, Dr. Takenaka will explain every step along the way so that you and your child are always aware of what is happening.
To begin the process, Dr. Takenaka will first use a local anesthetic to numb the area and prevent any discomfort during the treatment. If injections are a source of anxiety for your child, please let us know so that we can use nitrous oxide or another sedation method to calm his or her nerves. Dr. Takenaka will then remove the decay and clean the affected area of any bacteria or infection. Finally, she will clean the area of all debris and fill the cavity with the predetermined filling material you’ve decided on.
Your child's baby teeth might be little, but they have some big responsibilities. Until the adolescent years, they will not only help your youngster bite and chew (i.e. get proper nutrition) and speak correctly, but also help guide the permanent teeth underneath into proper position. In fact, a major function of baby teeth is to hold space for the adult teeth that will eventually push them out.
Call Children's Dentistry of DuPont at (253) 244-9778 for more information.