repair cavities with natural-looking composite fillings
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), cavities are very common. In fact, they say over 90 percent of adults have been diagnosed with at least one cavity. In other words, most people receive a cavity diagnosis at some point in their life. Even more concerning, however, is that 20 percent of adults have undiagnosed cavities.
So, what is the best treatment for dental decay, also known as a cavity?
Of course, the most important treatment involves prevention. Good oral care with daily flossing and twice-daily brushing is important. You also don’t want to neglect routine dental examinations and cleanings. While good oral hygiene can prevent tooth decay, a thorough examination by your dentist can detect it.
If detected, tooth decay requires restorative treatment. This involves the removal of the decay and filling in the tooth to restore it to full function.
Traditionally, dentists use amalgam (metal) fillings. If you or someone you know reveals silver fillings while smiling or laughing, you are familiar with amalgam fillings.
However, at Metropolitan Dental Care, we chose a better option. We provide our patients with newer, more advanced composite fillings.
what is a composite resin filling?
Made from a mixture of glass and quartz, composite fillings look natural. Before application, the mixture is color-matched to blend with the shade of your tooth. Therefore, the filling material mimics natural teeth and repairs mild to moderate tooth issues.
Beyond the ability to fill cavities, composite fillings can also strengthen teeth with surface wear and tear. Moreover, composite fillings have several cosmetic uses. For instance, to fill in gaps, reshape teeth, or repair a chipped tooth.
Although not permanent, composite fillings can last ten years or longer when properly cared for.
what to expect during the procedure
Patients are encouraged to attend routine dental examinations and cleanings. This helps reduce the risk of decay and allows for early diagnosis of any issues.
One part of the exam includes digital radiography (x-rays). These images assist the dentist with an accurate diagnosis.
If left untreated, dental decay can progress beyond this surface. When this happens, a patient may require root canal therapy or extraction of the tooth.
In most cases, we can provide same-day treatment to repair your smile.
treatment generally requires four simple steps:
- Step 1 – Comfort: The dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the affected area.
- Step 2 – Tooth Preparation: The dentist will then remove the decay and unhealthy bacteria. Next, he will thoroughly disinfect the tooth to provide a sterilized environment. If necessary, he will gently reshape the tooth.
- Step 3 – Composite Application: Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and dried, the dentist will mix the composite resin. Next, he will match the shade to the affected tooth. Then, he will carefully mold the material over the tooth to fill the cavity or damaged area. As your dentist layers the material, he will use a curing light to harden the resin.
- Step 4 – Tooth Polishing: Finally, he will trim any excess material, check your bite for proper occlusion, and polish the tooth.
benefits of composite fillings
Compared to metal fillings, composite fillings offer numerous benefits. While most patients prefer them for their natural look, they do more than look good.a
For instance, composite fillings are healthier. Amalgam fillings are made of a combination of metals and minerals. This includes the toxic substance mercury. Although many people argue the amount is minimal, even a trace can be harmful to your overall health.
In addition, hot and cold can cause amalgam fillings to expand and contract. Over time, this can lead to tooth fissures.
- Secure bond, providing lasting and durable results
- Less enamel removal
- Smooth texture
- Safer alternative to amalgam fillings, providing, improved oral and physical health
Do you struggle with dental sensitivity? Do hot, cold, or sugary foods cause you pain? If so, you may have a cavity. Immediate treatment can mean a much smaller filling.
On the other hand, ignoring it can leave you needing root canal therapy or extraction.
Preserve your natural teeth. Contact our Denver, CO, office today. You can reach us online or call (303) 534-2626 to schedule your examination.