At least 4 million preschoolers suffer from tooth decay — an increase of more than 600,000 kids in the last decade. “Children now have much more sugar in their diets at an early age,” says Paul Casamassimo, D.D.S., professor of pediatric dentistry at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health, in Columbus. And the popularity of bottled water — which usually doesn’t contain fluoride — may also contribute to the growing problem, he says.
If your child has tooth decay, the first step of treatment is to remove the decayed part of the tooth. Once that’s done, the next step is filling the hole where the decay used to be.
There are several dental filling options available. The location and level of decay, cost of filling material, and your kid’s dentist’s recommendation will help you choose the most suitable option for your child. Below we will take a closer look at the pros and cons of different filling options:
- Preventive Resins – best for small cavities caught early. The tooth is filled with tooth colored plastic, and then filled with sealant. Invisible filling, looks natural, excellent preventive measure, and not expensive.
- Tooth-Colored Fillings – suitable for small cavities in back teeth, and small cavities in front teeth. These fillings are made from durable plastics called composite resins. Looks natural, costs more than amalgam (silver) fillings, and not as durable as metal fillings.
- Amalgam Fillings – works for small to moderate cavities; often used for back teeth. These types of fillings are less natural looking, but are very durable and cost less than tooth-colored crowns.
- Preformed (stainless steel) Crowns – best for the treatment of large areas of decay, teeth with fracture, developmental defect, root canal treatment. One of the strongest and most durable services in pediatric dentistry, and they are more affordable than any other types of crowns. Disadvantage – not natural-looking; not the color of the teeth, but of polished silver.
- Tooth-Colored Crowns – used after the treatment of severe decay, teeth with fracture, developmental defect, root canal treatment. Used to treat the same problems as Preformed Crowns. Looks natural, but less durable than stainless steel crowns, and more costly.
Preventive dentistry helps to keep children free from tooth decay, but if (and when) the problem arises, it is a parent’s responsibility to find the right treatment for the child. Study your options, discuss them with your pediatric dentist, and make a wise decision to choose the best dental treatment for your child. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your kids’ dental health, please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced specialists at Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Allen. We believe that every child is entitled to a healthy and beautiful smile!