I’ve had trouble finding a pediatric dentist I liked, so we haven’t been very regular with my daughter’s checkups and cleanings. I noticed she had a cavity a few weeks ago and brought her to see my dentist. I did let him know ahead of time that I wanted her to have a white filling. He agreed and I brought her in. The problem is, the filling has fallen out three times. While my dentist keeps replacing them, this is becoming quite a hassle and my daughter is starting to resist. What do you recommend?
There are a couple of different issues going on here. You mentioned you told your dentist ahead of time you wanted him to provide your daughter with a white filling. That hints to me that white composite fillings may not be his standard go-to.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a mercury-free filling for your daughter, if your dentist isn’t experienced in them he may be unfamiliar with their bonding principles. Amalgam and composite fillings have totally different bonding procedures. Without getting it right, the fillings will fall out.
Another issue may be your dentist isn’t used to working with children. Composite fillings can be done on children, but the dentist has to be careful. Composite fillings have to stay completely dry during the placement. Little tongues have a habit of wiggling.
If I have a wiggly little one (which is perfectly normal and nothing for a mama to be embarrassed about), I may suggest some nitrous oxide. This is a mild form of sedation, often called laughing gas. It generally just relaxes a child and they fall asleep. When the filling is done, the gas is switched to O2 and they wake up perfectly happy with a bright, shiny repaired tooth.
Finding a Pediatric Dentist
If you haven’t had much luck finding a pediatric dentist in your area which you like, you may consider trying a general dentist who enjoys treating children. They’re qualified to meet your daughter’s needs. In your place, I’d check three things first.
- What age do they like to first see a child?
If they say two or three (or even younger) you can feel confident they don’t mind treating children. If they say eight or nine, move on. They want “mature” children.
- Are they mercury-free?
This is something obviously important to you for your daughter, so it’s best to know ahead of time whether they’re very familiar with composite fillings.
- What are their reviews like?
If they say they like working with children, that’s fine. However, it never hurts to check their reviews in order to be certain both parent AND child had a good experience with the dentist. You don’t want your daughter dreading her oral healthcare.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. Ashley Price.