For many decades dental decay was repaired using silver amalgam. These fillings can be unattractive, and there has been much discussion about the safety of dental amalgam. So when an alternative product became available, it gained popularity very quickly. If your child developed a cavity, your pediatric dentist was able to offer you a choice between a repair using amalgam or a safer plastic based, tooth-colored composite resin.
The benefits of tooth-colored fillings include:
- Less tooth needs to be drilled away with composite fillings. This means much of the tooth’s integrity remains intact; and the composite resin actually bonds the tooth making it stronger.
- A tooth-colored filling is much more aesthetically pleasing than the silver filling that over time can darken. With composite resin, a tooth repair is virtually undetectable.
- A tooth repaired using composite resin is much less likely to experience sensitivity to temperature.
- Even though dental amalgam has been deemed a safe repair for dental decay, it does contain mercury making its use a source of concern for some.
There are major differences in the way each of these cavity fillings are placed. With the amalgam process, much more of the tooth’s structure is removed; it’s then filled with the amalgam. With tooth-colored fillings, the delivery of composite resin requires the tooth remain dry. The resin is placed in small increments and cured before the next application is applied. This type of repair requires more time and expertise than placing amalgam.
Your pediatric dentist will explain the differences and advantages of composite resin versus amalgam. But before the need for a filling arises, there are many things you can do to help safeguard your child against dental decay.
Encourage and supervise your child’s daily oral care … they should be brushing at least twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste. They should floss every day to remove what their toothbrush missed.
Limit sugary snacks and beverages – reserve them for special occasions. Provide nutritious fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy, and grains for optimum dental health.
Make sure you child visits their pediatric dentist every six months starting at the age of one year. Regular visits will remove plaque from teeth that contributes to dental decay and/or gum disease. Preventive measures such as fluoride treatments and dental sealants are available to help your child maintain excellent dental health as they grow.
Maintain your child’s oral health and come see our team today. Contact Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry to schedule your visit!