Choosing A Filling For A Pain-Sensitive Child's First Cavity

Your child just developed their first cavity, but you're worried that they are too sensitive to pain to handle the fillings process. Thankfully, there are several filling types from which you can choose, each of which has benefits. 

Cavities Are Hard for Sensitive Children

Young children are often prone to cavities simply because they don't care for their teeth as well as adults. This situation can be very hard for a sensitive child because cavities produce persistent pain that may be hard to manage. One of the worst things about this situation, though, is that a sensitive child is going to feel pain even if you get treatment.

For example, a sensitive child will experience pain from their cavities that can be quite intense. However, they will also experience some pain from fillings.

Thankfully, this process has become less intense with the integration of other types of treatment options. Just as importantly, the temporary pain of the filling process is nothing compared to the persistent pain caused by worsening cavities.

What Types of Fillings to Consider

If your child is sensitive to pain, and you're worried about how they might react to fillings, there are plenty of different options from which you can choose.

Each of these fillings options provides you with a multitude of unique benefits and include:

  • Gold – Provides your child with up to 15 years of protection but takes two trips to fill, which could be hard for some children to handle.
  • Silver – Gives about 15 years of protection to a child and costs less than gold but may leave a stain on the teeth that requires dental care.
  • Composite – Easy to install and not abrasive but may wear out after only five years, meaning your child may need another filling soon.
  • Porcelain – Similar lifespan to gold and silver but may end up causing a child frustration and pain due to their more abrasive texture.
  • Glass ionomer – While not the strongest filling on the list, this type is the least abrasive and expensive, which helps many sensitive children.

As you can see, a balance needs to be made between a filling's life span and its abrasiveness. Very sensitive children may react best to glass ionomer but likely won't appreciate having to get it changed after 5-10 years. And, while gold or silver may be slightly more abrasive, the filling won't wear out as soon and will ensure your child doesn't need another filling so soon.

So, if your sensitive child needs tooth fillings, and you aren't sure what to do, contact your dentist to learn more. These specialists can provide you with the insight that you need to ensure that your child isn't in pain due to a bad tooth and is as happy and healthy as possible.