No one likes having a filling done. Still, they can do a whole lot of good when they’re needed. They aren’t an uncommon procedure for children, but if this is your child’s first filling, they may be a little anxious about it. Odds are that they’re already experiencing some discomfort and are concerned about it hurting. Knowing what to expect can make it easier to help your child understand the process.
There’s a fair bit of prep work that happens before the filling itself is done. We want your child to be comfortable during the procedure, so we’ll use anesthetics to prevent them from feeling any pain. Once the anesthesia has been administered, we’ll begin preparing the tooth for the filling. We’ll remove the decayed portion of the tooth and clean it out really well to prepare it for the filling.
Once the tooth has been prepared, we’ll start applying the filling. Here at Stellar Kids Dentistry, we use composite or glass ionomer fillings. Both types are safe to use and are tooth colored. It’s possible that neither of you will even be able to tell the difference between the filling and the tooth by the time we’re done. First, an adhesive will be applied to the tooth to help the filling bond strongly. The filling will then be applied, followed by a light that helps it harden and set.
The primary goals of filling a tooth are to restore its function and prevent further decay from happening. How we finish up the filling process is an important part of achieving those goals. We’ll smooth the edges of the filling and polish it to make sure that it looks and feels like the rest of the teeth. We’ll make sure it isn’t too high by having your child bite down on carbon paper. We want it to line up properly with the rest of the teeth, so it will be filed down if it’s too high. This way the tooth will function normally and won’t have any irregular surfaces that could hold onto food and bacteria.
It’s almost always easier to deal with something when you understand it. That’s just as true for children as it is for adults. Talking about the process can go a long way towards easing your child’s fears and quieting some of your own anxiety. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
If your child has tooth decay, getting it treated as soon as possible is crucial. See how we help combat tooth decay in children with our different child tooth decay treatment options.