Fillings, Pulpal Therapy, and Crowns
An amalgam is a restorative material combining different metals including mercury, copper, silver, and tin. Amalgam has been used and researched for over 150 years and is most commonly placed in the back teeth. Amalgam is strong, durable, and less expensive than other dental restorative materials. There is no evidence linking amalgam fillings to human disease or birth defects. Amalgam fillings may darken over time, look less attractive and may initially require the removal of more tooth structure.
Composite fillings are dental restorations made of powdered glass like materials. They can be matched to the natural color of the tooth structure, which makes them more attractive. Composites can be used in the front and back teeth and do not corrode. They are more prone to wear and breakage. Composites are also more difficult to place in a tooth and require a longer dental visit. These restorations can be expensive and most insurance companies do not cover the additional expense over amalgam fillings, making your co-pays a little higher for these restorations.
Pulpal therapy or "baby root canal" may be necessary when a cavity has reached the nerve of the tooth. The infected nerve tissue is removed and the now empty root canals are filled with a bio-compatible material. Then, a crown is cemented or "glued" to the top of the tooth.
A crown is a pre-made material that covers the entire tooth like a "cap" to prevent further decay. It is placed over an existing tooth to restore its shape, size, and strength, and to improve appearance.
Crowns are primarily used to restore decayed, discolored, misshapen, or broken teeth.
Crowns may be made from a variety of different materials including stainless steel and composite.
Dr. Kerri will recommend which material is best suited for your child's situation.