Cavities are an incredibly common dental issue. Although they are generally associated with children, cavities can affect anyone, from children to seniors. When a cavity does develop, it is essential that it be treated right away. Without treatment, cavities only worsen, compromising the structural integrity of the tooth and your oral health. At ImplantWide, we can provide treatment for cavities with dental fillings.
How Do I Get a Cavity?
A cavity is a small pit that forms in your tooth. It is caused by acid erosion. During the day, your teeth collect plaque and bacteria. These substances may be natural, but they can be quite harmful. Brushing and flossing are essential for eliminating the buildup from your teeth. Plaque and bacteria both produce harmful acids that, when left on your teeth for too long, begin to eat away at your protective enamel. This erosion causes weak spots in your enamel or tooth decay. Eventually, these weak spots form into pits.
Amalgam fillings are the traditional solution for treating cavities. They have been in use for over 150 years. Amalgam is made up of a mixture of different metals, including nickel, copper, tin, and silver. These metals are suspended in mercury. When hardened, amalgam is incredibly strong and can stand up to a substantial amount of daily use. They are perfect for treating many cavities in your back teeth, where chewing pressures are harder.
While amalgam is well-known for their strength, they do have a few distinct disadvantages. One is the color of the filling. It is silver, making it stand out against the color of your natural teeth. While this might not be such a problem in the back of your mouth, it can create aesthetic concerns for cavities in the front of the mouth. The materials used to make these fillings also causes concerns for many people. Those with metal allergies may not be suitable candidates. Other patients are concerned with the mercury content.
Placing an amalgam filling is quick and simple, taking about 30 minutes to complete. A local anesthetic is provided to ensure your comfort during treatment; We begin by cleaning the tooth and drilling out the decay. Next, the amalgam material is placed inside the cavity and smoothed. Finally, the material is cured, or hardened, giving your immediate tooth protection.
Composite fillings are a more modern alternative to amalgam. These fillings use composite resin to treat cavities. Composite resin is made up of a mixture of fine glass, plastic, and a few other materials. Unlike amalgam, it does not contain any metal or any mercury. It is also tooth colored. The material blends in seamlessly with the rest of your natural tooth color, providing not only a functional restoration but an aesthetic one as well.
Composite fillings may be more aesthetically pleasing, perfectly restoring your smile and your oral health, but these fillings also have their disadvantages. While they have come a long way, and are stronger than earlier composites, these fillings are not as strong as amalgam. They are more prone to damage when used for treating cavities near the back of the mouth.
Placing a composite filling is fairly similar to placing an amalgam one. However, composite fillings typically require less drilling. Because of this, you may or may not need a local anesthetic. The size of the cavity and its location will determine this need. First, your tooth is cleaned, and the decay is removed.
We do not need to drill away as much of your natural tooth structure because composite resin bonds to your teeth. After the decay is removed, an acid etch is applied to the cavity. This creates a rough texture to enhance the bond. The acid etch washed off, and your tooth is dried. The composite resin is placed in the cavity and cured. Finally, it is polished smooth, perfectly restoring the health of your tooth and your smile.
Dental fillings are an effective treatment for restoring teeth affected by cavities, preventing further damage and improving your oral health. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call ImplantWide at (630) 394-9787 today.