We here at Great Grins for KIDS - Portland specialize in a wide-variety of pediatric services, mainly preventive and restorative treatments. One of our most popular restorative treatments, and usually the first line of defense against a cavity, is a dental filling. The type of dental filling we recommend for your child depends on the location and severity of their tooth decay.
These days, there are more restorative materials to use for dental fillings than ever before. However, most people, from children to adults, receive tooth-colored fillings made from a putty-like substance known as composite resin. Composite fillings are discreet, relatively durable, and esthetically-pleasing.
Dr. Fariba Mutschler begins the quick, easy, and noninvasive procedure for composite fillings by preparing the tooth. The first step is to reshape, clean, and dry the cavity. This typically involves the removal of decayed tooth material.
After the tooth is properly prepared, we can place the composite filling. The composite we choose will be a shade that best matches the color of your child’s existing enamel. Next, we will shape and texture the composite until it is virtually indistinguishable from the rest of their tooth.
Once we are satisfied with the shape, we use an ultraviolet curing light to harden the composite and expedite the bonding process. We may need to trim off any excess material to provide the best possible fit. Finally, we will polish the filling until it matches the sheen of your smile for better esthetics.
Ionomers, made from a mixture of acrylic acids and fine glass powders, are another tooth-colored option usually reserved for minor cavities. Ionomers are also designed to release a small amount of fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral proven to strengthen enamel and even reverse small instances of decay. This makes ionomers an excellent choice for children at a higher risk of additional tooth decay.
Ionomers are generally used to fill cavities on the root surfaces because they more likely to fracture than composite fillings. However, Ionomers require little or no removal of healthy enamel, making them ideal for hard-to-reach places, like small areas of decay below the gum line. Decayed areas that need to withstand strong bite forces, like the occlusal (bite) plain, typical require a more durable filling material, such as composite resin or amalgam.
Amalgam, or silver fillings, have been used in dentistry for over 150 years. This time-tested restoration provides an unmatched level of durability and longevity when compared to other materials. For this reason, amalgam fillings are typically reserved for larger cavities in area that are frequently put under immense bite pressure.
Because amalgam fillings are a stark contrast to the color of natural enamel, they offer very little in the way of esthetics. That said, amalgam may still be the ideal choice for large cavities in the back of your child’s mouth. Posterior teeth, such as the molars and premolars, are typically hidden from view.
Schedule Your Child’s Appointment
As specialists in pediatric dentistry, we offer the very best treatments for children of all ages, from preventive services to restorations like dental fillings. If you would like to learn more call (971) 470-0054, and schedule your child’s appointment today!