If your child develops a cavity, fillings can treat the damage and restore their tooth to its near-original function and shape. At Parrish Children’s Dentistry in Parrish, Florida, Patricia Schnur, DMD, uses fillings to prevent tooth decay and other similar problems in children and teenagers. To schedule an appointment for your child, call the office and speak with a friendly staff member, or book a consultation online today.
Fillings are a type of restoration used to repair tooth damage caused by decay. Receiving a filling is a quick and painless procedure. Once placed, a filling prevents further decay, allowing your child’s tooth to function normally.
Prior to giving your child a filling, Dr. Schnur conducts a comprehensive oral exam and uses dental instruments to check the cavity. She also orders X-rays to view your child’s jawbones and tooth roots and to determine the extent of the decay.
After gathering this information, Dr. Schnur administers a local anesthetic to numb your child’s gums and tooth roots. If your child experiences dental anxiety, she can also administer nitrous oxide to help them relax. Once the anesthesia sets in, Dr. Schnur removes the decay.
Next, Dr. Schnur sterilizes the tooth using an antiseptic solution. She fills the hole with a material made of composite resin and dries it with a special blue light. Lastly, she polishes your child’s tooth and checks to make sure their bite aligns correctly.
Getting a filling is a quick and hassle-free procedure. If your child has a minor cavity, treatment takes about 20 minutes. If your child has a large cavity or several teeth that require fillings, the procedure may take up to an hour.
Following an oral exam and review of your child’s cavities, Dr. Schnur can develop a custom treatment plan and give you a better estimate of what to expect.
Most fillings heal quickly and present very few complications. After the anesthesia wears off, your child’s tooth may feel a little sensitive, but this should subside within a day or two.
If your child complains of pain or irritation, there are several steps you can take to reduce tooth sensitivity, including:
If your child’s tooth pain persists, they can also take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like Children’s Tylenol® or Motrin®.
The lifespan of a filling depends on several factors, including the type of material used and your child’s oral hygiene. Most composite fillings last between 5-15 years.
Your child can extend the life of their filling by practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding bad habits like chewing on ice cubes or biting their fingernails.
If you suspect your child may need a filling, schedule an appointment at Parrish Children’s Dentistry. Call the office and speak with a friendly staff member, or book a consultation online today.