Tooth Colored Fillings
The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once daily to prevent the formation of cavities and other oral health issues. Cavities, while commonly associated with children, can affect anyone of any age. When they go untreated, they destroy the structure of the affected tooth, weakening its structure. They can also lead to tooth infections and other health issues. At Kelly Smile Dentistry, we can stop the development of cavities and restore the health of your teeth with tooth-colored fillings.
The Development of Cavities
Cavities are small pits that form on the surface of the teeth, a result of tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused by the plaque and bacteria that live naturally in the mouth. Both produce harmful acids. Brushing and flossing are essential for eliminating plaque and bacteria and neutralizing these acids. When left on the teeth too long, the acids begin to erode your enamel, eventually leading to cavities. Cavities provide hiding space for bacteria, and they continue destroying the structure of your teeth. The longer cavities go untreated, the larger cavities become. They can even develop into the inner layers of the teeth, causing painful infections. Bacteria can even spill into the bloodstream, which can then contribute to serious health issues such as heart disease and stroke.
In the past, the go-to treatment for cavities was amalgam fillings. These fillings, made up of several different metals suspended in mercury, have been in use for over 150 years. They are well known for their strength. Amalgam can stand up to the strongest biting forces, which makes the teeth at the back of the mouth, where pressure is naturally greater. However, amalgam fillings are silver in color. This makes them quite obvious in your smile, especially toward the front of your mouth. The metals and mercury content in amalgam fillings also raise concerns with many patients.
Tooth-colored fillings were developed as an alternative to amalgam fillings. These fillings are composite resin, which is made up of fine glass, plastic, and other materials. When placed inside of a cavity, they blend in with the surrounding structure, making them ideal for teeth visible when you smile. The material may not be as strong as amalgam, but it can still stand up to most normal use.
Why Tooth-Colored Fillings?
There are several benefits to tooth-colored fillings.
Getting Your Tooth-Colored Fillings
There are two ways in which tooth-colored fillings can be placed. One method is similar to the process for placing amalgam fillings. Because less tooth structure needs to be drilled away, a local sedative may or may not be needed. First, the tooth is cleaned and dried. The decay is drilled away. The composite resin is placed inside of the cavity and smoothed. We use a special light to cure, or harden, the material and finally polish the material smoothly.
The other method for placing a composite resin filling is known as the indirect method. After the tooth is cleaned and the decay removed, an impression is taken. The impression is sent to a dental lab, where your filling is designed and created based on the specifications of your tooth. Once it is ready, the filling is cemented into place.
Treating cavities right away is essential for preventing serious damage and restoring the health of your teeth. If you suspect that you have a cavity, call Kelly Smile Dentistry, to schedule your appointment today at (442) 229-0766.
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