In some instances, yes, our pediatric dentist may recommend fillings for your child, even for teeth that will fall out eventually, to help prevent more tooth decay, maintain your child’s bite, and make chewing food easier.
We get a few questions from parents, like “Why does my child’s baby tooth need a filling? We’ll answer that question in our brief guide.
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Why do children’s teeth need fillings?
A child’s tooth may need a filling to preserve the tooth, improve chewing and speech, alleviate pain associated with the cavity, prevent teeth from shifting around, and keep further decay at bay. If possible, it’s always best to preserve natural teeth, and extraction should be considered a last resort.
How will my kid’s dentist determine if my child’s tooth needs a filling?
Our pediatric dentist follows three main criteria when determining if your child’s tooth requires a filling.
1. Size of the Cavity
Your child’s dentist will look at the cavity using an X-ray image to determine if the cavity has reached the inner layers of the tooth, called dentin. If the cavity is in the inner layer, it can spread quickly and affect the rest of the tooth because it’s harder to clean. A white filling may be appropriate for a tooth that is still largely intact but has a cavity working toward the inside.
2. Further Risk of More Cavities
Because cavities are caused by bacteria eating away tooth enamel, they can spread from tooth to tooth. Let’s say your child’s front adult teeth have come in, but the molars are still baby teeth. If one of the molars gets a cavity, it could spread to one of the adult teeth, causing a bigger problem. Your child’s dentist may recommend a filling for the baby tooth to prevent damage to the adult teeth.
3. Is the baby tooth close to falling out?
Lastly, your child’s dentist will look at the X-ray image to see if the baby tooth is close to falling out. A sign of this will be how much of the root of the baby tooth is still present. If the tooth will fall out within the next six months or so, the doctor may recommend a regular oral hygiene regimen until the tooth falls out on its own in relatively short order.
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Our Pediatric Dentist Can Help Your Child’s Teeth
Every child’s situation is unique. That’s why bringing your child to a dentist every six months for regular checkups represents an essential part of your child’s growth and development. Your pediatric dentist may recommend dental fillings for your child if the doctor sees enough tooth decay or your child complains about pain coming from the tooth.Do you have additional questions about your child’s oral health or need to make an appointment? Feel free to reach out to us anytime during office hours by calling (417) 887-1120. We’re happy to assist with your child’s dental needs.