Children eventually lose their primary teeth (baby teeth), however, that set of teeth needs to survive until the adult teeth pushes them out of the gums.
There are consequences of losing the baby teeth too early.
Why do Dentists fill baby teeth?
- Baby teeth are the only teeth in your child’s mouth for years until the adult teeth come in.
- Baby teeth help the adult teeth come in properly by maintaining the right amount of space for the adult teeth to come in.
- If trauma has happened to the tooth to cause a crack or there are other issues i.e. incorrectly shaped teeth or underdeveloped teeth.
How do they fill it?
- Dentists fill the baby teeth with the same filling material for adult teeth (tooth-coloured composite material).
Sometimes Extraction Is Necessary
- If the decay is so advanced it could cause infection or pain for your child then extraction becomes the best option.
- A space maintainer is recommended to keep the space until the adult tooth erupts.
Kids Sometimes Get Laughing Gas and/or Oral Sedation
- When children are having cavities filled, dentists sometimes recommend the use of nitrous oxide, commonly called laughing gas and/or oral sedation.
- This minimal sedation reduces anxiety and distracts them from the pain associated with both getting that local anesthetic shot in the gums and getting a tooth drilled.
- Nitrous oxide doesn’t work for all kids, and your dentist may opt to go with an orally administered sedative, instead. Not all dentists can offer nitrous oxide, so it’s best to check beforehand.
The Number of Fillings in One Sitting Depends on the Kid
- Dentist’s number one priority when treating kids is not to create a traumatic experience.
- When dentists fix cavities for kids, sometimes they do all the cavities at once and sometimes they do only one at a time because some children are fine sitting in the chair for long periods of time, while others are not.
- Dentists want the best outcome for the kid. Providing quality oral care to a crying child is very difficult for both the kids and the parents.
If you’re anxious about your child’s first filling, our dentists will put you at ease. We develop a treatment plan that is right for you and your child, with an aim to preserve the baby teeth until the adult teeth come in. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to keep teaching your kids about proper oral hygiene and continue scheduling regular professional teeth cleanings to minimize fillings and more invasive care.