There is a common misconception that baby teeth should not be filled if broken down by decay. That’s because, the common reasoning goes, they fall out anyway.
Whilst it’s true that baby teeth should fall out, the common misconception is wrong. Baby teeth, if damaged, should be filled for the following reasons.
First of all, 12 of the 20 baby teeth are retained in the mouth until 10-12 years old. If your child isn’t due to lose the problem tooth in the next year or less, it should be treated.
When decay is left untreated, it will eventually spread to the nerve, causing pain and infection. This can lead to difficulty in eating and speaking, along with a severe drop in the quality of your child’s general health and wellbeing.
Moreover, teeth infections commonly spread to the gum in the form of abscesses. If an abscess or infection is left untreated it can spread to the surrounding tissues. This can cause a serious condition known as cellulitis, and spread systemically to the rest of the body causing blood poisoning. Whilst antibiotics can contain infection in the short term, the cause of the infection itself must be addressed.
Decay spreads quickly in baby teeth. If things are left too late, then the only treatment option may be extraction. This can lead to serious orthodontic complications later in life. How so?
Well, one of the functions of baby teeth is to guide adult teeth into their correct positions. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, the surrounding teeth can begin to drift into the empty space, occupying the area that should be reserved for an un-erupted adult tooth.
Usually, the full set of 20 baby teeth are replaced with permanent adult teeth. However, for some individuals, adult teeth simply do not form. In such cases, baby teeth are useful to keep until they fall out naturally during adulthood.
At Care Dental Camberwell our Dental Therapists are specifically trained to treat children with the utmost patience and care, whilst Dr Anna has a natural way with children that puts them at ease.
Whatever treatment your child requires, we can deliver. If your child is too young to tolerate treatment in the chair or has an extensive amount of work to be done, a referral to a Paediatric Dentist for a general anaesthetic can be arranged.