While we do everything possible to avoid childhood tooth decay, it remains incredibly common. According to the CDC, about 1 in 5 children 5-11 years old has at least one untreated cavity, and 1 in 7 teens. Fortunately, cavities can be removed and teeth restored with tooth-colored, undetectable work. Your child can move past the discomfort of their cavity and show off their healthy, happy smile.
Your child’s baby teeth are important, even though they’re not permanent. Healthy primary teeth help guide the development of healthy adult teeth. They also play a role in dictating your child’s confidence, and tooth decay in baby teeth can interfere with normal activities like eating and speaking. If a baby tooth has a cavity, Dr. Hester will likely recommend a filling for the tooth so that the structure can be restored and the decay stopped.
Your child’s filling will be made of a tooth-colored composite resin. The filling material will blend with the color and appearance of the surrounding tooth so that it is not noticeable. Dr. Hester will remove the decay, fill the area, and then smooth the filling so that it is indistinguishable from the rest of the tooth.
Fillings are ideal for minor to moderate cavities. If there is substantial decay or multiple fillings in a single tooth, a crown may be recommended instead.
Fillings replace smaller areas of tooth structure. Crowns are more substantial and are appropriate for teeth that have experienced greater decay or damage. A crown is a cap that covers the entire tooth. The tooth is prepared so that the crown will fit in place and look natural in your child’s smile.
Porcelain crowns match natural tooth enamel so that they’re not noticeable as dental work. Your child will feel comfortable and will forget they even have a crown at all.
Crowns cost more than fillings, but offer greater protection.
In the event that a tooth has become significantly damaged or decayed, it may be necessary that the tooth be extracted. We do everything possible to preserve primary teeth because they help guide development of permanent teeth. If you’re concerned about your child’s tooth, schedule an appointment to have it evaluated.
Dr. Hester will discuss all your options with you in the event that your child has one or multiple cavities, and select the treatment plan that best suits your budget and needs. If you ever have a question about cavity prevention or treatment, just reach out.