Filling In Cavities At Our Port Charlotte, FL Dental Office
Your teeth are very tough. They can withstand years and years of chewing, eating, and drinking all kinds of hot and cold drinks. But tough is not the same as indestructible. Teeth can get cracked thanks to a sports injury, chipped due to a bad fall, or loosened by gum disease. But the most common type of damage that affects teeth is tooth decay. If you neglect your teeth, or if your teeth are just naturally prone to decay, you can get a cavity. The most common method of dealing with this damage is the dental filling.
Why Fillings Are Sometimes Necessary
Here’s how cavities happen. Bacteria can live off of tiny particles of food in your mouth, especially sugar and carbohydrates. When the bacteria begin to grow, they release an acid that can eat away at a tooth’s enamel. At first, it’s no big deal. Brushing and flossing can take away a lot of what bacteria need to survive, as can regular hygiene visits at our Port Charlotte, FL office. But if your teeth are neglected, that acid produced by the bacteria can really damage your enamel. This decay starts out small but can grow big enough to threaten the whole tooth, nevermind cause you a lot of pain. Also, the decay can make large dark holes in your teeth when it becomes more advanced and cause more pain. Untreated, it will lead to more expensive dental treatments like root canals, or you could lose the tooth!
The only solution is to get rid of the bacteria and the decayed, damaged enamel, then fill in the damaged area with something to keep the tooth strong and safe.
How Fillings Are Done
Before Dr. Dietrich or Dr. Kalonaros-Dietrich does anything, we will first completely clean the tooth and surrounding area. Then we will numb the area with a local anesthetic and remove all of the decayed enamel. This gets rid of the damage and the bacteria currently thriving there. Next, we will etch the surrounding enamel just enough so the filling has extra surface area to grab onto (bond), making it last longer. Finally, we will fill in the cavity with a tooth-colored filling material.
Why Composite Resin Beats Metal
In the past, dentists normally used metal like silver or gold mixed with a little bit of mercury. There are two problems with that. First, mercury is toxic in certain quantities and can cause concern for some patients. Second, newer research shows that metal fillings might actually damage the teeth. Because the metal is so solid, pressure on the filling from chewing or clenching your teeth can put stress on the sides of the tooth. Then there’s just the look; a glob of silvery metal in your mouth just doesn’t look good. That’s why we use a metal-free, tooth-colored resin for all of our fillings. There’s no mercury, it puts less stress on the tooth, and it looks much better.
Some dental offices still use dental fillings made from ugly metal that everyone can see. But modern fillings at our office are safer, easier, and colored to match your existing teeth. If you think you might have a cavity, or if you have any questions about how our tooth-colored fillings can help, call us today at [phone] or use our convenient online form.