Dental fillings are small patches used to repair cavities and holes in the teeth formed by tooth decay. Dental fillings can be made from several materials and are usually smaller in size. The purpose of fillings is to restore the function and structure of a tooth’s surface, to restore the bite, and apprehend tooth decay. Cavities are also known as dental caries, an infectious disease of the mouth.
Fillings are a restorative dentistry method that can delay the effects of tooth decay, preventing harmful bacteria from invading the tooth. At Masci & Hale Advanced Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry, fillings are part of our daily routine. We believe serving our community is providing you with the education to take initiative in sustaining your oral health.
Causes Of Tooth Decay
The most common form of tooth decay is cavities. Cavities are holes in the teeth caused by invasive harmful bacteria that enter the tooth by breaking the enamel. Cavities can lead to tooth sensitivity and tooth pain. Enamel is eroded by plaque, plaque is caused by acids, sugars, and overall poor oral hygiene. The enamel is the part of the tooth that we see from the outside, the tooth’s front line of defense. Enamel is the hardest material in the human body, but over time it can be damaged by erosion and microcracks.
Plaque is the acidic white film that forms on your teeth. You have probably felt it on your front teeth when you wake up in the morning. Plaque hardens into tartar, and bonds to the enamel. Plaque and tartar harbor harmful bacteria and over time the acids can create small holes in the enamel. Microcracks in the enamel create teeth staining, allowing harmful bacteria and food to lodge themselves into the enamel's surface. Over time, the food and bacteria can degrade the enamel, and allow the bacteria to more easily erode the tooth. Brushing and flossing the teeth daily is more than enough to polish away minor stains, remove harmful bacteria and plaque, and hinder bacterial growth.
Dental Filling Materials
Fillings can be made from a variety of materials. The most common fillings are made from silver colored amalgam, and tooth colored composite resins. Composite resins have become increasingly popular, and are now becoming used more than silver amalgam. Composites are always improving, and people appreciate the discretion teeth colored resins provide. Gold is a biocompatible material and extremely resistant to corrosion. It is also fairly malleable making it ideal for restoring chewing function without damaging surrounding teeth. Porcelain is biocompatible, and holds a high aesthetic appeal, the material is identical to enamel in color and translucency. Porcelain is very durable, and porcelain fillings can potentially last up to 15 years.
Repairing A Cavity With A Filling
To repair a cavity, it must be cleaned first. Our dentist will numb the area around the tooth with an anesthetic. The dentist will then use an air abrasion device or drill to remove the decayed material from the cavity. Once the decay is removed, the dentist will test the area to ensure that all of the decayed tissue is removed. When the cavity is fully treated, the dentist will then fill it, mold the filling, and polish it.
Cavities can lead to larger complications if left untreated. We can help you at Masci & Hale Advanced Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry to swiftly correct the issue. Fillings are part of our every day practice and your cavity treatment is our priority. Call us at 845-769-0160 to schedule an appointment, or for more information.