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Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is essential for keeping your teeth healthy and strong. It is important that you brush and floss every day and have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined every six months. Ignoring any part of your oral hygiene routine can quickly lead to tooth decay and cavities. If a cavity does form, Boones Landing Dental Center can provide treatment with tooth colored fillings.
How Do I Get Cavities?
A cavity is a small pit that forms on the surface of your tooth as a result of tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when the acids produced by plaque and bacteria are left to linger on your teeth. The acids eat away at or erode, your tooth enamel, causing it to grow weak. When a cavity is not treated, it continues to grow in size, and can eventually compromise the integrity of the tooth. A cavity can also develop past the enamel layer into the dentin, which can then allow bacteria to get inside the tooth and cause a painful infection.
What is a Tooth Colored Filling?
Traditionally, cavities have been treated with amalgam fillings. Used for over 150 years, amalgam fillings are exceptionally strong. They are made up of a mixture of metals, including tin, silver, and nickel, which are suspended in liquid mercury. While strong, they do have a few major downsides. Amalgam fillings are silver in color, which makes them stand out from the rest of your natural tooth color. They are not ideal for those with metal allergies. Additionally, the mercury content raises concerns with many patients.
A tooth colored filling is an aesthetic alternative to amalgam fillings. These tooth colored fillings are a composite resin, which is made up of plastic, fine glass, and other materials. While not as strong as amalgam, it is still fairly durable. They also blend in perfectly with the rest of your natural tooth structure, providing a seamless restoration.
How is a Tooth Colored Filling Placed?
The process for placing a tooth colored filling is fairly straightforward and is completed in just one visit. These fillings often require less of your tooth structure to be drilled away, so depending upon the size and location of the cavity, you may not need a local anesthetic. First, the decay is drilled away from the tooth, and it is cleaned completely. Acid etch applied to the cavity, which creates a rough texture on the surface. This texture aids in a stronger bond between the composite filling and your tooth. The acid is rinsed off and the tooth dry. The composite material is placed inside the cavity and cured, or hardened, with the use of a specialized light. Finally, the filling is polished smooth, providing you with a beautiful, restored appearance.
Benefits of Tooth Colored Fillings
Benefits of tooth colored fillings include:
Tooth colored fillings not only restore the health of your teeth, but they also provide you with a metal and mercury free treatment that blends right in with the rest of your natural tooth structure. If you suspect that you have a cavity, call Boones Landing Dental Center to schedule your consultation today at (503) 601-0610.