Children with special needs often require extra care from the pediatric dentist to help ensure they feel comfortable and have oral health concerns that are more specific to them properly diagnosed and treated. Understanding how pediatric dentists can help children through special needs dental care and how to choose the right provider is beneficial for…
3 Questions to Ask a Pediatric Dentist About White Fillings for Kids
A pediatric dentist will use white fillings for kids to achieve two things simultaneously. They will use a tooth-colored filling to fill a cavity or fracture while maintaining the tooth's natural color. Like most tooth-colored dental restorations, white fillings have both cosmetic and corrective benefits.
If you are wondering whether a white filling is a good fit for your kid, keep reading to learn more about this dental treatment.
3 Common questions about white fillings for kids
A dental filling is a semi-solid material with the texture and consistency of putty. A dentist will mix this putty just before they apply it to their patient’s teeth. This allows them to create a filling with a shade of white that most closely matches the color of the child’s teeth.
The most affordable and most common type of white filling is composite resin. This is an acrylic compound that closely resembles plastic. Another type of tooth-colored filling is glass ionomer, a substance that is a blend of silicon and an acrylic compound. It resembles ceramic in its look, texture, and translucency.
Sometimes, a dentist will blend these two types of filling to make a hybrid that splits the difference in terms of cost. Here are some questions to ask a pediatric dental specialist about the uses and benefits of tooth-colored fillings:
1. What are the benefits of tooth-colored fillings for children?
The white filling material is customizable, meaning that the dentist can blend it into a shade of white that matches a patient’s teeth. Other benefits of composite resin and glass ionomer are:
- The materials bond with the tooth surface to form a seal that keeps bacteria and food particles from reaching the inner tooth; this means white fillings do a better job of preventing reinfection
- A dentist only needs to remove small amounts of the tooth structure to apply the filling. In contrast, dentists have to remove larger portions of the tooth to anchor a conventional silver amalgam filling
- With proper care, white fillings last for many years
2. Do white fillings last longer than metal ones?
No. Metal fillings are more rigid and more durable than white ones. They are suitable for molars, which deal with the constant crushing forces of chewing and grinding.
For front teeth, the parent and child have to make a tradeoff between aesthetics and durability. Many patients end up choosing the esthetics of white fillings over the toughness of metal ones.
3. Can a white filling fix a tooth with severe decay?
Severe decay weakens the tooth's outer structure, and direct fillings are inadequate reinforcement for such teeth. A dentist may recommend a different type of restoration instead. They may recommend a tooth-colored crown or partial crown.
Does your child need a dental filling?
If your child has a cavity in need of dental filling, we encourage you to contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment. Our pediatric dental specialist will be happy to answer your questions about white fillings for kids.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Composite Fillings in Richmond, TX.
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