Dentist near Montrose, CA offers aesthetic services such as tooth-colored filings
Cavities are a common dental condition that can progress and become quite serious if not treated. Untreated tooth decay can lead to more severe issues such as systemic infection, tooth loss, periodontal infection, and eventually bone loss. When you think you have a cavity, it’s important to seek evaluation and treatment from a dentist as soon as possible. If you are in the Montrose, CA area, you can call Dr. Carlos and the team at Bright Smiles. If we discover that you have a cavity, we will recommend a filling.
What are fillings
Fillings are a type of dental restoration that fixes a tooth damaged by decay. During the filling procedure, the dentist will remove the decayed area of the tooth and clean it before using a filling material. Many dentists still use silver amalgam fillings which can contain more than 50% mercury. The good news is that at Bright Smiles when you have a cavity repaired you do not have to worry about having a mouthful of silver. At the office of Dr. Carlos, we utilize tooth-colored fillings made of composite resin.
Types of tooth decay
- Occlusal cavities – Also known as pit and fissure decay, these types of cavities occur on the irregular chewing surfaces of the molar. These are a common type of cavity in both children and adults.
- Root decay – Root decay most commonly occurs in older adults who are dealing with receding gums. Because the root is exposed and not properly protected by enamel it is extremely susceptible to invasion from harmful bacteria.
- Smooth surface decay – These cavities occur on the flat surfaces of the teeth and are caused by inadequate oral hygiene and failure to remove bacterial plaque.
- Interproximal cavity – These are a special type of smooth surface decay that occurs between the teeth and is also caused by improper brushing and flossing.
Why patients need fillings
When a cavity develops in a tooth it can continue to trap bacteria, allowing the cavity to grow larger. Eventually, the cavity can penetrate to the inner pulp chamber of the tooth, causing severe damage and pain, and potentially the loss of a tooth. Filling a cavity stops its growth and protects the tooth.
Repairing a cavity requires the dentist to remove the decayed portion of the tooth with a dental drill. Once this is done, the area is cleaned out and then will need to be filled with a strong material in order to restore appearance and functionality.
Fillings are available in a variety of materials including amalgam, gold, composite, and porcelain. Historically, amalgam fillings were the chosen option for the majority of dental professionals as a more economical alternative to gold. They remained popular due to their longevity.
In recent years, studies have shown the potentially harmful health effects of amalgam fillings. When amalgam fillings expand and contract with temperature change, they can put pressure on the tooth, leading to fractures or breakage. In addition, the fillings can lead to the body’s exposure to mercury, through inhalation and through the blood.
These days, most dentists and patients prefer a more natural looking solution such as composite resin. Composite fillings are made of a mixture of plastic and ceramic. The plastic material can be shaded to match the existing tooth structure. It is then mixed with a powdered glass to give the final finish translucent and reflective properties of tooth enamel. The filling material begins as a soft, moldable paste which Dr. Carlos applies into the prepared area of the tooth in layers until it completely fills it. A light is then used to cure the composite material for the final restoration.
Advantages of tooth-colored fillings:
- The composite resin is color matched to blend in beautifully with the natural tooth
- Composite resin fillings do not expand and contract
- Long lasting
- Strong and durable
- More economical than options such as inlays, onlays, or crowns
If you are near the Montrose, CA area and would like to know more about the benefits of tooth-colored fillings, call us today. Don’t neglect your oral health. If you suspect you may have a cavity it’s important to make an appointment for treatment as soon as you can.
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