My Pediatric Dentist Says Children Can’t Have White Fillings

I am in a tad of a quandary. My son needs a filling. I don’t want him to have a silver filling loaded with mercury. My sister’s dentist gives her children white fillings. Why does my dentist say it’s not possible?

Mindy S.

Dear Mindy,

I can’t give you the exact reason your dentist is being less than truthful. I can give you a couple of theories. One possibility is he’s unfamiliar with the technique and he’d rather not admit it. Placing composite (white) fillings is a different technique than the old amalgam (silver) fillings. Most dentists know the new techniques by now, but there are a few old holdouts who still prefer to do things the old way. It’s likely a matter of familiarity and comfort.

Another possibility is the difficulty of doing them with children. A composite filling must be kept completely dry during the procedure or it has a large risk of failing. It may be he doesn’t have confidence children are able to sit still enough during the procedure.

In either case, there are pediatric dentists who will place white fillings. I know young children who’ve had them placed.

If you don’t think your child can be cooperative during the procedure, and let’s be honest that the dental chair can be scary for children; When they’re frightened it’s hard for them to cooperate, it doesn’t mean a white filling is not an option. It may require sedation dentistry. They can give your son a pill which will completely relax him. Most children sleep through the procedure. However, he will need to be watched closely throughout the rest of the day. He’ll be a bit loopy.

Don’t pressure your dentist. If he’s not comfortable, you’re better off going to one who does the procedure regularly on children. He’s required to share all information with the new dentist

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