Cavities are one of the most common dental issues there are, affecting the mouths of millions of individuals from children to seniors. When cavities develop, it is imperative that they be treated right away. Without treatment, cavities only continue to worsen, which can cause the tooth to weaken and put it at risk for root canal therapy. Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend - Thomas E. Wold, DMD can provide treatment for cavities with composite fillings.
How Does a Cavity Develop?
Plaque and bacteria are two naturally occurring substances in your mouth. They both produce harmful acids. When left on the surfaces of your teeth, these acids can begin to erode your enamel. This is tooth decay. As the acids continue to eat away at your tooth enamel, these weak spots in your teeth eventually lead to the formation of small pits, or cavities. Without treatment, cavities only continue to grow larger and deeper, compromising the strength of the affected teeth and leaving them vulnerable to infections.
What is a Composite Filling?
Fillings are common treatments for cavities. This particular treatment essentially fills the tooth, preventing bacteria from getting trapped and causing further damage. Traditionally, fillings have been performed using amalgam. This material is a mixture of metals that are suspended in mercury. Metals consist of tin, copper, nickel, and tin. Amalgam fillings are known for their incredible strength. They can withstand some of the strongest bite forces. However, their silver color and the materials used often cause concern.
Composite fillings provide an alternative to amalgam. These fillings are made up a mixture of fine glass, plastic, and other materials. Unlike amalgam, they do not contain any metals or any mercury. They are also tooth-colored and blend in perfectly with the color of your natural teeth. Because of this, they are perfect for treating cavities affecting front teeth.
Placing Your Composite Filling
The process for placing your composite filling is not unlike the process for placing an amalgam filling. We first begin by cleaning the tooth and drilling out the decay from the cavity. Next, an acid etch is applied to the cavity, which creates a rough texture that is designed to enhance the bond between the filling and your tooth. The acid is washed away, and your tooth is dried. We apply the composite material to the cavity, smooth it, and cure it with a specialized light. Once the filling has been cured, we finally polish it smooth, and you are provided with instant protection.
Benefits of Composite Fillings
Composite fillings provide many benefits. These include:
||Natural appearance. The filling blends in with the color of your natural teeth. No one will notice the filling after it has been placed. This makes them ideal for treating cavities that are more visible when you smile.
||Less tooth structure needs to be drilled away. This preserves more of your natural tooth structure. In some cases, we may not even need to administer a local anesthetic.
||Fast treatment. Fillings only typically require about 30 minutes to complete.
||Metal-free and mercury-free. These benefits can be especially important for those with metal allergies or those with concerns regarding metal and mercury use.
If you suspect that you have a cavity, it is important to seek treatment right away. Call Aesthetic Dentistry of Bend - Thomas E. Wold, DMD today at (541) 389-0261 to schedule your consultation.