Is It Necessary For A Child To Get Fillings On Decayed Primary Teeth?

Dentist Blog

Poor dental hygiene exposes children to the risk of developing cavities in their primary teeth or milk teeth. However, most children start to shed their milk at around six years of age. Therefore, if a child is almost six, one may wonder whether it is necessary to get fillings on primary teeth. Can you extract the tooth or leave it to fall out on its own? Before you take any action, check out these reasons why it's necessary for your child to get fillings on decayed primary teeth.

Avoid chronic pain

Cavities occur when harmful bacteria erode the enamel and cause tooth decay. The decay leaves behind tiny openings that trap food and bacteria. Minor cavities may go unnoticed for a while. However, once the decay progresses, your child will experience tooth pain. Oral antiseptics and pain medication may relieve the pain, but only for a short time. 

Failure to treat the underlying dental problem will expose your child to chronic pain, which can affect nutrition and lower their quality of life. Fillings can treat tooth decay and save your child from chronic toothaches and trauma. Furthermore, treatment for minor cavities is minimally invasive and can be done within a few hours. 

Prevent severe tooth infection

When left untreated, tooth decay can spread from the enamel to the pulp. The pulp contains nerves and blood vessels, and when invaded by bacteria, it can get infected. A tooth infection can cause severe toothaches, headaches and a swollen face. The infection can also spread to body organs as well. Therefore, don't wait for the tooth to fall out, as this can lead to a dental emergency. Fillings can save your child from developing a severe infection and other health complications.

Preserve space for adult teeth

Premature extraction of decayed baby teeth may seem harmless, but it can set you up for costly orthodontic treatment. Milk teeth preserve space in the jaw for permanent teeth to erupt. If you extract a child's primary tooth, the adjacent teeth may shift into the space, leaving little room for the permanent teeth. Consequently, the adult teeth will become crooked, necessitating orthodontic treatment.

If your child loses a milk tooth prematurely, they should get space maintainers to preserve the space for upcoming permanent teeth. However, you can avoid all this trouble by treating the decayed milk tooth. Fillings preserve decayed teeth and eliminate the need for premature extractions. Consequently, your child will get straight adult teeth and won't need braces or aligners.

Milk teeth play a critical role in a child's dental development. Therefore, if your child has decayed milk teeth, they should get fillings to avoid infection and premature tooth loss. For further consultation and treatment, contact a dentist.


3 June 2022

Teeth And Tears: Dental Dramas Of A School Nurse

I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.