Tooth decay is a common disease in young children. At Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas, we use several filling materials to correct dental decay. One option is a tooth colored filling material called composite. This material matches the tooth color, provides a bond to the enamel, is hard, and insulates the tooth. It is a very good material to replace diseased tooth structure. Dental composites can also replace silver fillings. When parents are concerned about the discoloration of a tooth due to a previous silver filling, the old filling can be removed and replaced by composite.
Many times this will increase the longevity of the restoration because composites tend to contract and pull the tooth together, where as silver fillings, or amalgams, tend to swell over time and put outward forces on teeth. Over time, the silver filling puts outward forces on teeth, and can break a cusp off a tooth, requiring a crown to be placed on that tooth. Composite fillings are an excellent option for anterior baby teeth as well. In a young child often there is decay in the front teeth D, E, F, G. This is a common area because young children use bottles to ingest milk, creating a condition known as baby bottle decay. Since young children may not be cooperative for dental crowns, composite fillings are a great option to fix the decay, until the child gets older and more cooperative.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children as young as 7 months old can have tooth decay. Tooth-colored fillings can repair damaged teeth, but the most effective form of treatment is prevention. Ask our pediatric dentist about our preventative services, including sealants and fluoride varnish.