Indianapolis Pediatric Dental Fillings & Crowns in Fishers
Tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood illness, with 42% of children ages 2-11 suffering with cavities. Unfortunately, many of these early cavities go undiagnosed and untreated. In fact, 23% of children within the same age group have untreated cavities, leading to even more discomfort and decay.
Since children aren’t likely familiar with the tell-tale signs of a dental cavity, many parents overlook them. Instead of complaining about a sore tooth, your kids might suddenly develop an aversion to eating, drinking, or speaking properly. This is even more of a problem when cavities occur in the molars or in between the teeth, where they are difficult to see. Since dental disease in kids has also been tied to dangerous systemic diseases such as diabetes and pneumonia, it is crucial to bring your child in for their normal dental exams and checkups.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends bringing your child in to the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears or before the child’s first birthday, whichever occurs first. After that, kids should have a dental checkup and cleaning every six months to prevent tooth decay and proactively treat problems.
Dental Restorations For Kids
Fillings and crowns are the most common types of dental restorations for children. The goal of dental restorations is to return the tooth to its original shape and function, so that your child can eat, speak, and drink normally without pain. Choosing a dental filling or dental crown depends on the tooth and how much of the tooth is still healthy.
Dental fillings are designed to patch the hole that dental decay has left in the tooth. Without fillings, food, plaque, and bacteria could easily collect in the space again, causing deeper and more painful damage.
After the dentist numbs the area with a local anesthetic, the decay is removed with a gentle dental drill. Next, either a tooth-colored composite resin filling or a silver amalgam filling is used to fill in the cavity. The surface is smoothed and the tooth is polished, leaving a strong, healthy tooth once again.
Pros of Fillings
- Less expensive in the short term
- Tooth-colored option to preserve aesthetics
Cons of Fillings
- Inadequate for teeth with large or multiple fillings; decay so close to the nerve that removal of decay would expose nerve; or baby tooth in which nerve has been removed.
- 60% failure in two years for 1st baby molars.
- Tend to leak and stain, resulting in a crown anyway or possible extraction & spacer.
Stainless steel crowns are silver caps that cover the whole tooth. Porcelain crowns are tooth colored. Dental crowns for children are generally completed in one visit, and will usually last until the tooth falls out at around the age of 12.
Often, if a 2-surface filling is used to restore a first baby molar, the tooth may decay again or the dental filling may break due to the shape of the tooth. If that occurs, the tooth may need a stainless steel crown or to be extracted and treated with space maintenance. That would mean the child would have to go through an extra procedure and the parent would pay for treatment of the same tooth twice! Our goal is to restore the health of the tooth for longevity. We place crowns on first baby molars that have decay in between the teeth, or on teeth which are too damaged to be repaired with fillings.
Pros of Crowns
- Less expensive in the long term. Crowns are less likely to fail and need additional work, which can save money.
- Completed in a single visit.
- Tooth-colored options for patients concerned about aesthetics.
Cons of Crowns
(Stainless Steel & Tooth-colored)
- Stainless steel crowns can be obvious and unsightly. Also, ceramic white crowns potentially chip and are silver underneath.
- More tooth structure removed leading to possible nerve treatment (tooth-colored mainly).
- Excellent patient cooperation needed (tooth-colored only).
While there are drawbacks to both fillings and crowns, their benefits in the right situations make them a first choice to treat dental decay, even in children. If your child has been complaining of a sore tooth or has stopped eating, talking, or drinking like they normally do, make an appointment today with the Children’s Dental Center. Our kind and patient clinicians and staff will do everything in their power to make your child feel comfortable and to proactively treat dental decay.
Silver Diamine Fluoride
Silver Diamine Fluoride is an antibiotic liquid that has been approved by the FDA, used in the treatment of active dental caries. It is an easy, noninvasive method of slowing or stopping carious lesions that can not be immediately treated with a restoration. This is especially helpful in very young patients, children with excessive decay, patients with special healthcare needs and those patients who can not return for dental treatment in a timely manner. Treatment with Silver Diamine Fluoride does not eliminate the need for dental restorations, but it will often times buy the patient valuable time in order to have their treatment completed.
Frequently Asked Questions
"Silver stars" are another name we use for silver fillings. It is made of dental amalgam. Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury and an alloy of silver, tin and copper. Mercury is used to bind the metals together and provide a strong, hard durable filling material. Mercury in dental amalgam is not poisonous. When mercury is combined with other materials in dental amalgam, its chemical nature is changed making it harmless.
Stainless steel crowns are silver caps that cover the whole tooth. Porcelain crowns are tooth colored. Dr. Edwards will complete a stainless steel crown or porcelain crown in one visit. Stainless steel crowns or porcelain crowns are very sound restorations. They will last until the tooth falls out around the age of 12. Children's dentist Dr. Edwards' goal is to restore the health of the tooth for longevity.