Are Dental Fillings Necessary For Children?

So your child has a small cavity, and your pediatric dentist in Columbia or Eldersburg told you they need a filling.

But hold on, are fillings even necessary for kids? After all, isn’t the baby tooth supposed to fall out anyway?

It’s natural to want to protect your child from the drilling and general anxiety that a dentist’s office often evokes. But dental fillings are absolutely necessary for children.

Here’s why:

Dental Fillings Help Restore a Tooth

Dental fillings use materials like resin to restore both the look and strength of a tooth after it has been damaged.

One of the most common scenarios where your child could need a dental filling is a cavity, but it’s not the only one. 

Dental fillings can also be necessary for:

  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Fractured tooth due to trauma
  • Enamel erosion caused by eating too many sugary or acidic foods and drinks.
  • Worn-out teeth caused by grinding, etc.

In any of these cases, dental fillings help restore a tooth, prevent further damage to it, and, in the case of children, make sure the tooth stays put until it’s ready to naturally fall out.

Why Baby Teeth Should Only Fall Out on Schedule

Since baby teeth are temporary, it might not seem like such a big deal when they’re damaged. After all, they’re not your child’s permanent teeth, right?

Baby teeth are essential for your child’s development. First, your little one needs their teeth to learn how to chew their food and speak, which is why parents must focus on their children’s oral development early on. 

But baby teeth also make room on the arch for the permanent ones. If a primary tooth falls out prematurely, the rest of the child's teeth can shift to compensate for this extra space. As a result, the permanent tooth might not have enough room to erupt properly.

This leads to tooth alignment issues that will need fixing through orthodontics, such as braces.

How Is a Filling Applied?

Getting a filling is very simple. First, the child’s mouth is numbed to make sure they don’t feel pain. If the child is anxious or has special needs, sedation may also be available to help them stay calm. 

Once the tooth is treated (such as by removing the cavity), the dentist takes the filling material and applies it to the tooth. They will shape it and harden it with a special light. Then, they’ll ask your child to bite down to see if the filling needs more finessing. 

The dentist may use the drill to correct the filling’s shape, so your child’s bite will feel perfectly natural.

Dental Fillings at Tiny Tooth Pediatric Dentistry

Think your little one might need a filling? Let Dr. Su Kim help!

Request a visit to Tiny Tooth Pediatric Dentistry online, or call our office at (443) 832-6111 for more information.

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