If your child has developed a cavity, he or she may be concerned about how the decay will be treated at the dentist's office. Sometimes, a child's fears can be alleviated by explaining the process that will happen. Here are a few ways that your child's dentist may treat a cavity:
Dental Bonding Material
If the cavity is extremely small and has not invaded the layers of the tooth that lie beyond the tooth enamel, the dentist may simply be able to clean the area thoroughly and apply a bit of dental bonding material. The bonding material is generally tooth-colored and covers the compromised area sufficiently to protect the tooth from additional decay.
A traditional filling is usually placed after the affected tooth has been drilled or treated to remove the dental decay. The filling alone is generally suitable when no tooth infection has developed. However, if a severe tooth infection has developed, the infection must be treated before a dental filling can be applied.
The filling can be made of amalgam, resin or other suitable dental material.
Before any drilling or removal of decay is performed, the dentist will apply a local anesthetic to ensure that your child feels no pain during the filling process. Sometimes, if an injectable anesthetic is applied, the dentist will first rub a numbing solution on the gums at the injection site to offer even more protection from discomfort.
A Filling and a Dental Cap
If a cavity is quite severe and the structure of the tooth is damaged, it may require additional support after the decay is removed. In these instances, after the decay's removal, a suitable filling material is placed to fill the hole left by the cavity. Additionally, a dental crown is applied.
If your child's tooth is a primary tooth, the dentist is likely to apply a stainless steel crown, since it can be placed on the tooth during the same dental visit. The metallic color of the crown will not matter much, since the primary tooth will eventually be replaced by an adult tooth.
If it is an adult tooth that is being treated, your child's dentist may apply other crown materials, such as porcelain or porcelain-over-metal, to help the crown blend seamlessly in your child's mouth.
To learn more details about how your child's dentist may treat a cavity, schedule a consultation with a pediatric dental office such as Apollo Dental Center.