Common Myths & Facts about Kids’ Dental Fillings

The world of dentistry is always progressing and changing. Societal and technological advances aid in this change as time goes on. Dentists are special advocates for child dental treatment – especially the team here at Children’s Dental Zone!

One of the most popular treatments recommended for children are dental fillings. Many opinions about fillings include myths that have been created through the years.

So what are the facts and myths about dental fillings for children? Let’s examine these myths and reveal some facts about fillings.

But first, let’s look at what exactly a filling is and how it is applied.

What is a dental filling?

A filling uses an artificial material to fill holes, decay, or cavity holes in a tooth. Many different materials are used for different filling procedures and purposes.

Some examples of materials used for fillings include a mixture of powdered glass and plastic resin, silver alloy and mercury, a mixture of glass and organic acid, a mixture of glass and resin polymer and organic acid, porcelain, nickel and chromium, or a mixture of gold, copper, and other metals.

Also, a local anesthesia (nitrous oxide/laughing gas or another type of kid-friendly sedation) is administered to the patient while the procedure is underway.

So, now that we know what fillings are, let’s bust some myths and reveal some facts about kid fillings.

Myth #1: Silver dental fillings aren’t risky

Since there are so many different types of fillings, it is important to choose the type that works best for the patient. So what do we know about silver fillings?

Fact #1: Silver fillings can be dangerous to developing or at-risk minds or bodies

Silver fillings contain mercury. Evidence suggests that the mercury produces a toxic chemical that can enter the brain and cause neurological effects on patients. While these fillings are not always dangerous for adults, the developing brain of a child can suffer developmental neurological effects from these toxins.

For these reasons, children under the age of six and pregnant women are strongly discouraged from silver fillings. Luckily, this is just one of many options for fillings and there are highly encouraged solutions for young children with cavities.

Myth #2: Cavities in kids don’t need to be filled because “baby teeth” will just fall out anyway

Many believe that because children eventually lose their baby teeth, spending money to fix cavities in their baby teeth is useless.

Fact #2: It is important that cavities in baby teeth are addressed

Depending on the severity, the cavity may be reversible through proper care and hygiene. In addition, if assessment reveals that the tooth is about to fall out, our pediatric dentists may recommend leaving it to fall out naturally. However, our trained pediatric dentists have undergone years of research and training, and we’ll discuss the best option for your child’s health.

Cavities need to be addressed because they cause tooth decay, which can lead to more health problems in the future. Often cavities can cause pain and difficulty chewing, creating large problems for the overall health of a child. For these reasons, it is important to get cavities filled, even in baby teeth.

Myth #3: Fillings last forever

It is a common misconception that tooth fillings will last a lifetime.

Fact#3: Fillings are not permanent

Actually, while fillings are made to be durable and withstand a lot of action, typically they are only expected to last for a few years. Gold fillings are an exception, lasting up to 20 years with proper care, but these come with a high price point that is not typically preferred.

Eventually, any filling will decay or chip and will most likely need to be replaced. Especially in children, fillings will eventually fall out as baby teeth fall out. They are not a completely permanent solution.

Myth #4: When a tooth is filled, it cannot get cavities anymore

Many people are under the impression that filled teeth are no longer susceptible to cavities.

Fact #4: Even filled teeth are susceptible to cavities

Unfortunately, fillings do not make your teeth invincible. As fillings wear down or are neglected, bacteria can enter underneath or in a chip and cause decay to begin. Proper care is important as always, even when teeth are filled.

Myth #5: Getting a tooth filled is very painful

Many children are terrified of any dental procedure because they have heard about how painful they are.

Fact #5: Pediatric dentists take your comfort seriously and have methods to make sure the procedure is as painless as possible

While the recovery period can be painful for a few dental procedures, our pediatric dentists have created ways to make fillings completely painless.

Local anesthesia is applied to ensure that pain receptors are completely numbed. Our dentist will actually clean the tooth and remove the source of pain, the cavity, and your son/daughter should leave feeling better than when he/she arrived.

Many people have questions about fillings and are hesitant to allow their children to get them. However, fillings are an excellent, painless solution to cavities that are highly recommended by our kid’s dentists.

So next time your child complains of that pesky pain that cavities cause, consider a filling – they will be feeling better in no time!

Children’s Dental Zone works hard to create an environment that is calming, lessens anxiety, and even allows your kid to have fun going to the dentist! If you have any lingering questions or concerns surrounding your child and dental fillings, don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can walk you through the process.