White Fillings: Get the facts from your pediatric dentist | Sprout


White Fillings: Get the facts from your pediatric dentist

When cavities occur and the less-invasive treatment option of a composite resin restoration is a suitable treatment plan for your child, Dr. Anderson at Sprout Kids Dentistry will turn to a white tooth filling to restore an affected tooth. Based on a patient’s unique needs, the appropriate type of dental restoration will be determined.

For children who are unable to cope with the traditional dental setting to deliver dental care, who have a high level of dental anxiety, or who have special needs, we offer Sleep Dentistry as an option for completing multiple dental cavities. Here, a child’s treatment plan may include a combination of dental procedures including white fillings, stainless steel crowns, nerve therapy, and/or extractions. Learn more below about composite resin fillings, or request a consultation online.

What are composite resin fillings?

Composite resin fillings (also known as white fillings) are a type of filling made of glass,  quartz, or other ceramic particles packed within a solid or liquid synthetic organic polymer resin medium to produce a tooth-colored material. They are used to fill cavities, restore tooth decay, or prevent decay (sealants). Sprout Kids Dentistry uses a HEMA-free primer to bond the filling to the enamel or dentin layer, preparing your child’s tooth surface for a secure bond. Our line-up of composite resin products called Beautiful are manufactured by Shofu. They help to preserve healthy enamel and reduce demineralization while still maintaining a high level of bond strength. The composite fillings used at Sprout Kids Dentistry are BPA-free, non-toxic, and completely safe. 

When should composite resin fillings be used?

Also known as filled resins, composite fillings are often used in small to medium-size restorations, as they provide strength, durability, and resistance to fracture. In addition, the shade of composite fillings is made to closely match the patient’s actual teeth, so that other people will not be aware that dental work has been done. In some instances, parents may prefer that their child receives amalgam fillings, depending on their treatment needs, insurance options, or financial limitations.

What does getting composite resin fillings involve?

Composite dental fillings are placed in-office with-or-without laughing gas, or during sleep dentistry under general anesthesia. Before the composite filling procedure, a child will receive local anesthesia (Novacaine) in order to numb the affected tooth and area around the tooth. 

Once completely numbed, your child’s pediatric dentist will use a drill to remove decay from the affected tooth and prepare it for a filling. Then, the composite resin filling will be introduced, bonding involves layering on resin and hardening it using a specialized light to make it strong. The final step involves polishing the tooth and then applying a less viscous composite resin called a dental sealant in order to add an extra layer of protection from future decay or filling fracture.

How long do composite resin fillings last?

Since composite resin fillings are not made of metal it is natural to worry about their durability. Although they are made of man-made materials, your child’s white filling can last for up to 7 years or more with the right aftercare. You can promote how long your child’s filling lasts by following these steps:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your child’s teeth twice daily for two minutes each session.
  • Use a high quality wax dental floss to clean between any neighboring teeth that are touching.
  • Limit sugary drinks or snacks.
  • Limit consuming foods or drinks that are stain-causing.
  • Don’t use teeth as tools to open packages.
  • Don’t chew on inedible objects like pencils.
  • Don’t chew on ice or overly hard-sticky treats.
  • Visit a pediatric dentist at least twice a year for routine check-ups and cleanings.

If you need to schedule a visit for your child or want to learn more about our dental treatment options for cavities, including composite resin fillings (white tooth fillings), call our office at 617-328-1700 or request an appointment at Sprout Kids Dentistry by filling out the form on this page.

Dr. Michelle Anderson is a pediatric dentist board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

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