The most common sign of a cavity is tenderness, pain, or sensitivity in one of your child’s teeth. If they complain about a tooth hurting, particularly when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages, they may have a cavity.
If you look at your child’s teeth, you may also see yellow or brown staining, or even visible pitting or a hole in your child’s tooth, which is a sure indicator of a cavity. If you suspect your child has one or more cavities, schedule an appointment at Shady Grove Pediatric Dentistry right away. Since we are a brand-new dental office, you won’t have to wait long to be seen. We will gladly evaluate your child no later than the day after you contact us.
We only offer tooth-colored fillings at our office. Compared to metal amalgam fillings, tooth-colored fillings provide a tighter bond, require the removal of less tooth material, and have a more natural appearance. Dr. Ball will choose a filling material that matches your child’s natural tooth color, ensuring a beautiful result.
In addition, our fillings are always done with minimally-invasive principles in mind. We offer mild sedation using laughing gas in every treatment room, and we have ceiling-mounted TVs, so your child can enjoy visual distractions during their treatment. We explain everything in a non-threatening and age-appropriate way, and you’re welcome to stay in the room with your child to ensure they feel safe while our experienced dental team provides their care. Depending on your child’s age, they can even choose the music that we can play and any scents they would like.
We offer same-day crowns using the Hall Method. In this type of crown, there is no need to drill your child’s tooth or remove any of their enamel. Instead, Dr. Ball will choose a pre-shaped stainless steel crown and apply it directly to your child’s tooth using dental cement. The entire procedure requires no drilling or removal of enamel, and will protect and restore your child’s tooth.
A crown, also known as a cap, is a way to restore a tooth by covering it completely to protect it. There are situations where a filling will simply not work, or not work as well as a crown. The most common situations are when the cavity has affected a large portion of the tooth, the decay is close to the nerve inside the tooth, or the entire tooth is sensitive or broken down due to a developmental defect.
A crown on a baby tooth can be just as simple to do as a filling, in many instances. It may sound more involved, but crowns for baby teeth are different than crowns for adult teeth, and their cost is also similar to a multi-surface filling. As with any procedure that requires for us to numb the tooth or the area, we also offer laughing gas (nitrous oxide) as a supplement for additional comfort. We are skilled with kids and gentle in our approach, but adding a little “happy air” into the mix is typically also a good choice. We can discuss if this is right for you child.
We offer same-day treatment when possible. What we can offer to do depends on many factors, of course, such as:
In general, we try our best to offer preventive therapies like sealants or SDF placement on the same day as the exam and cleaning visit. We know your time is valuable, and we strive for situations that benefit everyone involved. We look forward to serving you.
Do you have questions about fillings and crowns? We have answers.
Crowns are a better option for large cavities, and for protecting your child’s teeth from further decay. They’re also useful for protecting teeth that are broken or damaged, whether from trauma or due to developmental defects. Unlike a filling, a crown is a full-coverage restoration that covers up and protects the entire tooth structure. It functions as “armor” for the tooth, preventing further damage and decay. In contrast, fillings only cover up or replace the missing portion of the tooth, which is not always a stable way to fix a broken or decayed tooth. Fillings tend to require maintenance and replacement more often than crowns, particularly in baby teeth, which are physiologically different than permanent teeth. Dr. Ball is always happy to review your options and explain the reason for her recommendation.