If you are a new parent, a pediatric dental appointment may be a foreign concept. You may not know what to expect from this visit, but you can learn what will happen. The more you understand, the more effectively you can get your child ready to see the dentist for the first time. This does…
Tooth-colored Fillings at Pediatric Dentist in Middletown
A pediatric dentist teaches young patients how to take care of their teeth and prevent dental problems. Dentists also spend a chunk of their time dealing with cavities and tooth decay. In most cases, the dentist will treat young patients by filling the problem teeth.
Until recently, dentists treated cavities and dental caries with metal fillings, such as gold and amalgam. These types of fillings are very durable and rarely cause any trouble. The problem with metal fillings is color, which changes the look of a person’s smile. Now, metal fillings are an acceptable option for the molars but not for front teeth.
Even young children prefer a bright, all-white smile. Many of them would be unwilling to get fillings that look different from natural teeth. Therefore, a pediatric dentist will often recommend tooth-colored fillings for their patients.
About tooth-colored fillings
Tooth-colored fillings are made of materials that closely resemble the color and texture of a natural tooth. These fillings are made of different materials, each with its own set of benefits.
1. Composite tooth filling
This is a putty-like tooth filling made of acrylic resin and finely ground powdered glass. A dentist will prepare the composite and match it to the patient’s teeth color. The pediatric dentist will proceed to clean the problem tooth and fill the cavity directly with the tooth-colored putty. The dentist will cure the composite, causing it to solidify. After the composite filling becomes solid, the dentist will smooth the filling to remove any rough surfaces or edges. Composite fillings are durable but not as durable as metallic equivalents.
2. Glass ionomer fillings
Glass ionomer is often used as dental cement, but it can also be used as a filling. It bonds directly to the tooth by forming a chemical bond with the enamel. Glass ionomer is not nearly as durable as other types of tooth-colored fillings. It is used to restore and protect baby teeth as the baby teeth will fall out before the filling wears away.
On the rare occasion that glass ionomer is used on permanent teeth, it is only used on non-biting surfaces. It can be used on the part of the teeth that faces the tongue or the inner lip. One advantage of glass ionomer is that it releases fluoride to the teeth as it bonds with the enamel.
3. Porcelain fillings
Porcelain fillings are made from porcelain. Unlike composite and glass ionomer, porcelain is not applied directly to the tooth. It does not come in the form of putty that a dentist can apply and sculpt onto a tooth. Instead, a porcelain filling is fabricated in a dental lab, based on an impression of a patient’s prepared tooth. Such fillings are also known as indirect fillings. A patient will need to go through several steps before receiving a porcelain filling.
- The dentist will numb the patient’s tooth and clean it to remove all the decayed tissue
- Preparation of the cleaned tooth by roughening the parts of the enamel that will come into contact with the filling
- The dentist will take an impression of the prepared tooth and send the mold to a dental lab
- The dentist will place a temporary filling over the tooth and send the patient home
- At the dental lab, a porcelain filling will be fabricated, based on the impression of the patient’s tooth and the directions of the dentist
- The patient will be called in for a second procedure, during which the patient will get the filling
Porcelain fillings are very durable but are an intensive type of dental restoration. A dentist will only recommend this type of filling for teeth that have a large cavity or extensive damage. Suitable candidates for porcelain fillings are often older children with cavities in the permanent teeth.
A pediatric dentist will let you know the right option for your child
There is a tooth-colored filling for each situation. A pediatric dentist will examine the patient and choose the right course of treatment, based on the result of the exam. If your child is dealing with a problematic tooth, call your pediatric dentist. Schedule a consultation for your child.
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