Cavities are the most commonly encountered oral conditions among individuals belonging to all age groups. They are caused due to excessive microbial activity in the mouth that eventually leads to the erosion of the enamel. When cavities are left untreated for a significantly long time, food debris tends to get accumulated in them, leading to increased microbial activity. The cavity would just increase in size and put the entire tooth as the risk of being extracted.
What are fillings?
Fillings are dental restorations that are used to fill a cavity and restore its aesthetics and functionality. Earlier, fillings were made from mercury amalgam or other metals such as gold and silver. But, nowadays, they are being discontinued and replaced by ceramic or composite resin owing to several advantages that they offer.
Tooth-colored fillings Vs. Metal fillings
- Tooth-colored fillings are made from composite or ceramic material. They are biocompatible and safe. But, metal fillings are made from gold, silver or mercury.
- Tooth-colored fillings can be customized to match the exact color and contour of the tooth. They are aesthetically pleasing. On the other hand, metal fillings leave a lustrous appearance on the teeth, making them quite visible.
- With amalgam fillings, the chances of suffering a toxic reaction due to the presence of mercury are higher. There is no such risk involved in the case of tooth-colored fillings.
- Since the expansion and contraction rate of metals are different from that of the enamel, the teeth can crack when you eat or drink anything too hot or cold. But, tooth-colored fillings expand and contract just as much as the enamel does, making them quite safe in this regard.
How are tooth-colored fillings placed?
When you visit our dental practice to get a cavity filled, we would conduct a thorough diagnosis to determine the severity of the decay. We would start off by removing the decay from the cavity. A hand-held scaling tip will be used for this. The tip of the device vibrates at ultrasonic frequencies and helps to dislodge and extract the decayed material. A jet of water will be used to wash off the debris from the cavity.
Prior to placing the filling material, the dentist etches the tooth using a suitable etching solution. This is done to make sure the tooth surface is roughened enough so that the filling material can adhere to it. Next, the dentist goes ahead and matches the filling material with the color of the teeth. Once the perfect shade is obtained, the dentist places a small amount of filling material on the cavity and shapes it according to the contour required. It will be hardened using a curing light, after which it may be polished to get the right luster.
Call us at (850) 763-4545 or schedule an online appointment with Arzu Esroy, D.M.D. and we’ll be able to guide you further.