Cavities can be caused by harmful bacteria (dental caries), acidic/dry mouth conditions, occlusal issues, or a combination of these. A cavity can look displeasing on your teeth and may even ruin the overall appearance of your smile. Cavities often represent a site of vulnerability and active infection on the tooth. Early detection and prevention are key because if left untreated, they can ultimately lead to pain and/or loss of the tooth. Because of this, cavities are usually removed and restored using fillings to ensure they do not grow deeper or wider.
What are dental fillings?
Fillings are putty-like material applied to a cavity to fill them. This ensures the tooth is restored to its ideal contour and functionality while improving structural integrity. In earlier dental times, fillings were primarily made from metals, such as gold, silver, and amalgam. These materials do have some positive qualities, but they also have several drawbacks. These drawbacks have led to the development of more aesthetic tooth-colored fillings that can actually bond to the tooth. Due to these superior esthetic and bonding properties, we use composite fillings.
Why choose tooth-colored fillings?
- Tooth-colored fillings are aesthetically pleasing. They can be customized to match the color, texture, and translucency of the adjoining teeth.
- Fillings are incredibly durable. They do not wear easily, which makes them last for several years without any hassle.
- Tooth-colored fillings made from composite offer excellent sealing properties. This seal helps to keep the microbes from entering the cavity and causing reinfection.
- They are easy to work with. The dentist can prepare the filling, apply it to the tooth, shape it, and harden it during the same appointment.
How are fillings done?
The dentist will visually and radiographically screen the mouth to check for cavities. If any decay is detected, the patient will be scheduled for a tooth filling. During this scheduled appointment, the decay will be removed from the tooth, leaving a void or “cavity.”
The tooth surface is then prepared with a primer and a bond material. Afterward, the void is filled with a composite shade that best matches the tooth. Once shaped accordingly, the filling will be hardened and polished.
To schedule a consultation and cleaning with Dr. Lewis, please call our office at (702) 649-6859.