Does My Child Need a Filling or a Crown?



tooth filling dental crown Hudsonville MI pediatric dentist

Did you know that nearly 60% of U.S. children have had at least one cavity by age five? Cavities, also known as dental caries, are little holes in your teeth caused by tooth decay. They’re more common among children, but the ability to get cavities follows us into adulthood, too.

If your child has a cavity, you may be wondering what the best course of action is. Does your child need a filling, and if so, what kind? Would a dental crown work better? Does it matter if the cavity is in a baby tooth instead of a permanent one?

At Hudsonville Dental Kids, our pediatric dentists will examine your child’s cavity and help you determine which procedure is right for your child.

Tooth Fillings for Children

Typically, we recommend tooth fillings for children with small cavities. Getting a filling is a safe, normal dental procedure that will restore your child’s tooth and prevent further tooth decay. 

Our dentists offer two different kinds of fillings: silver (amalgam) fillings and white (composite) fillings. Both work well to restore teeth, but you may want to opt for a white filling if your child’s cavity is in a permanent tooth or in a tooth that can be seen when they smile or laugh. White fillings match the color of your child’s teeth, so no one has to know they had a filling. 

Do Baby Teeth Really Need Fillings?

If your child’s baby tooth will fall out eventually, why fill a cavity in a non-permanent tooth? It’s a reasonable question. However, there’s a good reason to fill in baby teeth that are suffering from tooth decay: The longer early childhood cavities are left untreated, the more difficult they are to treat.

Untreated childhood cavities can result in bigger oral health problems that lead to more complicated (and more expensive) dental procedures. Pain from cavities can also affect your child’s growth and development, causing problems with eating or speaking. Additionally, baby teeth hold space in your child’s jaw for their adult teeth; decaying baby teeth can negatively affect how your child’s permanent teeth come in.

As you can see, fillings are necessary for childhood cavities, even when those cavities are in baby teeth. Fortunately, silver fillings work just as well as white fillings, but they tend to be cheaper and easier to put in. Since your child’s baby tooth isn’t permanent anyway, a silver filling is a cost-effective choice for stopping tooth decay.

Dental Crowns for Children

If your child has a large cavity or a cracked tooth, a dental crown may be the best option.

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that fit on top of your child’s existing tooth to restore its strength and functionality. Typically, we place crowns to reinforce a permanent tooth, although a baby tooth may need one in certain circumstances.

We offer both stainless steel and white dental crowns. Just like with fillings, white crowns are a great option for permanent and/or visible teeth because they match your child’s tooth enamel.

Protect Your Child’s Smile

Whether your child needs a tooth filling or a dental crown, our Hudsonville, MI, pediatric dentists are here to help. Call Hudsonville Dental Kids at (616) 209-4039, or contact us online.