Cavities are caused by acid-producing bacteria that break down and weaken an area of tooth, causing a hole to form. Not all cavities need fillings, but when the hole reaches a certain size or depth, intervention is necessary to save the tooth. At Glow, we use white fillings to restore the teeth after the cavities are removed.
What is a Filling?
Fillings are what dentists and pediatric dentists use to replace the tooth structure that has been diseased and removed during the cavity cleaning process. The hollow space is ‘filled’ to restore its original shape and function. They also prevent further collection of food and bacteria in what used to be a cavity hole.
We Use White Colour Fillings
At Glow, we use white fillings, otherwise known as composite resins. White fillings are a mixture of different biocompatible materials including grains of glass, plastic and ceramic.
White fillings are mainly used for small to medium size cavities in both front and back teeth. Compared to silver (amalgam) and gold fillings, the white fillings are the most aesthetic and match the natural colour of your child’s teeth. It allows the fillings to be unnoticeable and provide a cleaner look.
White fillings can be sensitive to the dentist’s technique and moisture. Compared to silver fillings, white fillings are slightly more susceptible to new cavities. In children, this is not a major drawback as the baby (primary) teeth generally get replaced by the adult (permanent) teeth before they have a chance to develop new cavities.
Dr. Fran will recommend an appropriate plan for your child based on many factors including the risk of getting new cavities, diet, oral hygiene and how long the tooth will last before getting replaced by its permanent successor.
How Do We Fill a Cavity?
Getting a filling is simple. It can be broken down into five steps.
- Numbing & freezing – as a first step, numbing gel is placed on the gum, followed by the administration of local anesthesia.
- Cavity removal – once the tooth is ‘sleeping’, we’re ready to clean the cavity out and catch the ‘sugarbugs’.
- Surface preparation – with the cavities gone, the tooth surface is then coated with acid etching gel and bonding (‘glue’) agent to help keep the filling on the tooth.
- Filling – white filling is now ready to be applied and cured (hardened) and it only takes a few seconds!
- Polishing – once everything is set and done, Dr. Fran will polish the filling to ensure that it will function naturally and look amazing.
While we never want to surprise our littlest patients, we think it’s best they come to their filling appointment with just enough information – overloading them with details often results in added anxiety. Rest assured that our team will guide your child through their treatment in a way that’s appropriate for their age and understanding. Relaxed parents make for relaxed children, so if you treat the appointment with ease, we hope your child will too!