Composite fillings

Treat decayed teeth

Composite Fillings

Even with great oral hygiene and dental care, it’s possible that your little one may develop a cavity in a baby tooth, or in a permanent tooth. If this happens, the best way to restore their smile is with a composite dental filling. At Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we specialize in filling cavities in Yardley, Bensalem, Warrington, and Glenside. Call us today if you suspect that your child has a cavity, and we’ll help your little one get back to optimal health!

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How it Works

understanding composite fillings

Composite fillings are made out of a tooth-colored resin. A composite filling is applied to a decayed tooth layer-by-layer after it’s been trimmed. Once the process is complete, your child’s tooth will look and feel completely brand-new, and it will be free of decay.

Timely intervention with a composite filling is essential for maintaining your child’s oral health. If you leave a cavity untreated, it could become bigger and require treatment with a dental crown. It could even become infected, requiring a root canal. Treating cavities early with composite fillings is always the best choice.

How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?

How long your composite fillings last depends on many factors such as the location and size of the filling, behavioral habits, oral hygiene, and your diet. Composite resin fillings last on average for 7-10 years and are very durable. 

However, they are not as durable as amalgam fillings, especially for teeth that undergo a significant amount of force, such as the back molars. This makes composite fillings ideal for teeth that are visible when you smile, such as the front of the mouth. 

If you grind your teeth at night, you should wear a mouthguard to protect teeth that have been filled because they can become worn down. Highly acidic and sugary diets are prone to causing enamel erosion and may cause the composite fillings to wear out faster than when children eat a balanced diet. 
If you protect your teeth when sleeping and playing contact sports, eat a healthy diet, and practice good oral hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing every day, you will increase the lifespan of your fillings. 

Smaller fillings located at the front of the mouth will typically last longer than large fillings in the back of the mouth. While composite fillings have a slightly shorter lifespan than amalgam fillings, we recommend them at Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry because they blend in with your natural teeth, do not contain mercury, are safe for pregnant women, and can even last for up to 20 years.

dental chair and equipment

the benefits of composite fillings

Tooth-colored cavity repair

Compared with metal fillings, composite fillings have a number of benefits. First, they match the color of your child’s tooth perfectly, so their smile will look totally natural. This is especially important when filling permanent teeth.

In addition, composite fillings bond very tightly to the natural enamel. This means they provide a strong hold, and can strengthen your child’s tooth, providing long-lasting results. Composite fillings also require the removal of less enamel during the preparation process, compared to metal fillings. For all of these reasons, Dr. Mukund Patel and Dr. Raj Patel prefer composite fillings over traditional metal-amalgam fillings.

At What Age Can a Child Get Fillings?

You should begin taking your child to the dentist by the time they are one year old or when they receive their first baby tooth, whichever event happens first. Children can receive fillings in their baby teeth from a very young age.

Baby teeth are more prone to cavities than adult teeth because of their thinner enamel. It is extremely important to have them filled right away to avoid further decay and complications in the future. Even though baby teeth are not permanent, they hold space in the mouth for their permanent teeth to grow into. 

Failing to have cavities filled in baby teeth (milk teeth) can lead to premature tooth loss which can cause shifting, crooked teeth, and bone loss. There are no specific age guidelines for children receiving fillings. 

Rather, it’s more important to consider the size of the cavity and how soon the tooth is due to fall out. While small cavities on teeth that are loose and going to fall out soon are better left alone, you should have teeth filled if they are not going to fall out for another 1-2 years. If you notice signs of cavities in your child’s teeth, contact us to schedule an appointment.

pediatric tooth-colored cavity repair

what to expect

The composite filling process

Your child’s treatment will begin with a teeth cleaning to prepare for the procedure. Then, their mouth will be numbed. We also offer sedation options for children, such as nitrous oxide, so that your child can feel safe and comfortable during their procedure.

Next, Dr. Raj or Dr. Mukund Patel will begin by removing decayed and damaged enamel from their tooth, in order to prepare for the placement of the filling. Once this material has been removed, the area will be cleaned and disinfected.

After this, our team will start rebuilding your child’s tooth. Dr. Raj or Dr. Mukund Patel will choose a composite dental resin that matches their smile perfectly, and apply it to the tooth layer-by-layer. 
Once the structure of the tooth has been rebuilt, the filling will be trimmed, buffed and polished. Then, your child’s bite will be checked, and Dr. Raj or Dr. Mukund will make any final required adjustments. 

Why Does My Kid Have Cavities?

While it can seem unfair, some kids are more cavity-prone than others due to a hereditary predisposition for oral health problems. If your child is vigilant in practicing good oral hygiene and attending regular dental visits, it will be easier to prevent cavities. 

Cavities are holes that form in the teeth as a result of tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth that feed off of sugar to produce acids. These acids attack your enamel and cause enamel erosion, which eventually leads to cavities. The following behaviors can increase your child’s risk for developing cavities:

  • Eating a highly acidic, starchy, or sugary diet
  • Coming into contact with others’ saliva
  • Improper oral hygiene
  • Inadequate fluoride use
  • Using baby bottles at night
  • Thumb sucking
  • Using pacifiers past 2 years old
  • Mouth breathing

family in waiting room at Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

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Contact Us today

If your child needs one or more fillings in Warrington, Bensalem, Yardley, or Glenside, the team at Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry is here to help. We use the latest techniques and high-quality dental composites to reverse the effects of tooth decay, and provide your child with a beautiful, strong smile. Contact us now at (267) 392-5878 to schedule your appointment. 

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