Should Your Child Get A Dental Filling In A Baby Tooth?

Dentist Blog

When your child develops a cavity, your dentist may recommend a filling, even though the cavity is in a baby tooth. You may wonder if it is worth it to fill a baby tooth since it will eventually fall out anyway. You may be concerned about the expense or the stress on your child. Here are some things to keep in mind when you're deciding on whether to go ahead with the dental procedure.

Age Of The Tooth

If the tooth is a fairly new back molar, then your child will have it for several years. In that case, you probably want to fill the tooth so the cavity won't get any larger before the tooth falls out. If a cavity develops in a baby tooth that's near the end of its lifespan and ready to fall out fairly soon, your dentist may be okay with waiting and watching how the situation progresses, as long as the cavity isn't causing any pain. If the tooth is causing your child problems, but it is likely to fall out in a few months or weeks, your dentist may opt to pull it rather than fill it. Your dentist can tell by looking at an x-ray if your child's baby tooth is ready to come loose and work its way out.

Size Of The Cavity

While it's a good idea to fill a cavity while it is small, in some cases, very tiny cavities can remineralize. You may need to alter your child's diet and improve oral hygiene to keep the cavity from getting worse and to allow the tooth to heal.

If the cavity is large, it may be best to fill it to keep it from getting larger and causing pain. Also, a decayed baby tooth may cause problems with the permanent tooth that is developing underneath it.

To keep the tooth from spreading infection to the permanent tooth or elsewhere in the body, the cavity should be treated rather than waiting for the tooth to fall out. Filling is usually better than pulling a tooth because pulling can cause the other teeth to move out of proper alignment. If you want the dentist to pull a tooth rather than fill it, the dentist may need to fit your child with a space maintainer so the permanent teeth will come in straight.

Pain Prevention

One of the big reasons to have a cavity filled in a baby tooth is to prevent pain. You don't want your child to suffer with toothaches. Even if the pain isn't constant, there may be sensitivity when eating or drinking. This can cause your child to shun certain foods and become a picky eater. You may worry about the pain and stress your child will endure during a dental filling, but at least that is temporary rather than ongoing like a toothache.

That's why it is important to find a good family dentist your child likes and trusts. If your child is not fearful, the experience won't be as bad as you might expect. Baby teeth are very important, even though they do fall out. However, when they fall out naturally, the permanent teeth are ready to erupt right behind them. If a tooth is pulled or lost too soon, it can lead to further problems down the road. So if your child has a cavity in a baby tooth, there is a good reason your dentist recommends getting it filled. For more information, contact a clinic like Village Family Dental.


25 August 2015

Getting Your Toddler to the Dentist Once and For All

Toddlers should see a dentist for the first time by the age of twelve months or by the time their first tooth comes in. But if you are a parent with toddlers anything like mine, the prospect of going to the dentist (let alone anywhere!) can be pretty intimidating. My kids were a handful growing up. They had tantrums any time we would have to sit in a waiting room, and they refused to get in the dentist's chair during their first few visits. So, I had to employ a professional to help me make the transition to finally getting them in that dental chair without all the screaming and crying. I know I'm not the only parent in this situation, so I decided to share the information I've learned with others who can use a little help. You can find all my advice right here on these pages!