Protect Your Teeth From Cavities With Dental Fillings
Dental fillings are one of the most well-known treatments in dentistry and are used to protect patients’ mouths against the effects of cavities. When teeth become damaged by bacteria, filings are the top choice for halting the progression of decay and restoring the natural structure and foundation of the tooth. Learn more about our tooth-colored fillings at Luck Dental Clinic below.
How Cavities Form
No matter how well you brush and floss your teeth, your mouth will always contain bacteria. While some bacteria are beneficial, there are also harmful bacteria that can grow in your mouth. Leaving this harmful bacteria behind allows for tooth decay. Tooth decay affects the natural foundation and structures of your teeth, resulting in oral health issues.
A cavity forms from unaddressed tooth decay — damage to a tooth. Cavities often appear over time due to certain factors that lead to poor oral health, such as not brushing and flossing regularly or eating a high in sugar diet.
Once a cavity has formed, there’s nothing the body can naturally do to heal or replace the lost enamel. The only way to stop the spread of decay to other teeth and protect the damaged tooth is with a dental filling. If a cavity is left untreated for too long, it can result in the need for endodontic therapy, also known as a root canal.
What Are Dental Fillings Made Of?
There are two types of dental fillings: metal amalgam and tooth-colored composite resin. Amalgam fillings are comprised of various metals including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. Whereas composite fillings are made up of a combination of fine particles of glass, acrylic, and minerals and held together in a resin matrix.
The composite fillings material is soft and malleable until it’s hardened with a special light, which bonds it to the tooth. Composite fillings are the preferred patient choice as they’re designed to seamlessly blend in with the natural shade of your smile. They also bond better to your tooth enamel, leaving you less likely to fracture a tooth.
How Dental Fillings Repair Damaged Teeth
When you need a dental filling, you can trust that Luck Dental Clinic will provide the best treatment options. For a dental filling procedure, you’ll experience the following during one quick appointment:
- We’ll start by taking an x-ray to see the extent of the damage.
- If the cavity extends beyond the tooth enamel, we’ll provide a numbing agent to ensure you don’t feel pain or any unpleasant sensations during treatment.
- A dental drill is used to treat the tooth. This removes bacteria and decayed tooth matter from inside the tooth, as well as any other portion of the enamel that’s been damaged.
- Dental composite resin is applied to the tooth to fill the cavity and replace the lost enamel.
- A special light is used to cure the composite and permanently bond it to the tooth.
- The filling is smoothed and polished to ensure it feels natural and doesn’t interfere with the bite.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dental fillings aren’t designed to last forever, no matter what type you choose. Amalgam fillings can last 12 years and composite fillings can last for eight years. After this point, a filling may become less stable and start to show signs of failure.
Amalgam fillings also tend to expand with age (which can crack the teeth), while composite fillings tend to leak (which can lead to secondary decay). The best way to ensure your filings are still effective is by visiting Dr. Conder at Luck Dental Clinic once every six months for regular checkups.
In most cases, it’s possible to switch out your old silver fillings for new composite ones. This procedure provides the strength and longevity of amalgam (silver) fillings while seamlessly blending in with the rest of your smile. During your appointment, we’ll examine your old fillings and determine if it’s the safest and most effective option to replace them with composite fillings.