Cavities are the result of bacterial destruction. When these bacteria are not properly addressed with brushing and flossing, they eat the leftover food particles and sugars that linger. As they eat, they produce harmful acids, which erode the strong outer surface of your teeth known as enamel. These cavities provide hiding spaces for bacteria, and the damage only gets worse. Unchecked, the bacteria can go through the enamel layer of your teeth, into the dentin, and down to the root, leading to serious problems, such as infection or tooth loss. The bacteria can even enter your bloodstream and spread infection throughout your body. Cavities need to be filled, and we at Premier Valley Dental can help.
Types of Fillings
A filling is essentially a material that is used to fill in the space left by bacterial damage after the bacteria and decay have been cleared out. But there are two common types of fillings that can be used. The first is an amalgam filling. Also known as silver fillings, amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of different materials, including zinc, tin and silver, held together by mercury. Amalgam fillings are often used for cavities in back teeth, as the color stands out from your teeth’s natural whiteness. They are strong, long lasting, and one of the least expensive options.
The second most common type of filling is made from composite resin, a mixture of fine glass in a resin material. Composite resin matches the color of your natural teeth, and is therefore often used for cavities in your front teeth. Composite fillings offer a tremendous benefit to those who want a flawless smile that is both healthy and beautiful.
Before we start the process of placing a filling, a local anesthetic is administered. The tooth is then drilled into to remove decay, and the area is disinfected to get rid of any remaining bacteria. The filling material is placed into the cavity, the excess removed and the filling smoothed and dried.
Composite resin fillings can be placed in one of two ways. The first, known as the direct method, is fairly similar to the method used for amalgam fillings. After the tooth is cleared of decay and bacteria, the material is placed, dried with a special blue light and polished. The second method, the indirect method, requires two visits. During the first visit, the tooth is cleaned of decay and bacteria and an impression is taken. That impression is sent off to a lab to create a custom filling. When it is ready, you will return to the office and the filling will be cemented in place.
Fillings help to protect your teeth when they have suffered at the hands of bacteria. However, by taking the right preventative measures, you can stop cavities from happening in the first place. An oral hygiene routine complete with brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the office at least twice a year for cleanings and exams can help to ensure the health of your mouth, keeping bacteria, and therefore destruction by bacteria, at bay.
If you suspect you have a cavity, Premier Valley Dental is here to help. Call us today at (602) 789-3799 to schedule your appointment.