Tooth decay, also called caries, is one of the most common preventable diseases today.
While the instances of decay have decreased dramatically with the addition of fluoride in drinking water and preventive dentistry treatments such as fluoride, sealants, and professional dental cleanings, many people will still have at least one cavity during their lifetimes.
In the past, a cavity meant a dark, metal filling repair the tooth. Today, however, tooth-colored fillings are available to improve oral health and protect your smile.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Tooth decay develops when bacteria create an acidic environment that softens protective tooth enamel. Bacteria reproduce rapidly when they have plenty of fuel – sugar, starchy foods, and dental plaque. The best way to prevent tooth decay is to eat a healthy diet and practice good oral hygiene:
- Brush at least twice daily
- Floss each day
- Professional dental cleanings
- Regular dental exams
- Routine x-rays
Regular dental x-rays assist Dr. Bussell in diagnosing dental decay in its earliest stages when it is easier and less costly to treat. Early detection is essential because dental decay typically does not cause pain until it is quite well advanced and puts your tooth at risk. When dental decay is left untreated, you may require more complex treatment, including root canal therapy, a dental crown, or even an extraction.
At Affordable Dental Center, we use digital x-rays, which provide high-resolution images and emit up to 80 percent less radiation for improved patient safety.
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings offer a number of benefits over silver metal fillings:
- Remove less tooth structure
- Look natural
- Cause less sensitive to temperature
- Allow you to chew on them immediately
Composite Resin Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings are made from composite resin – a mixture of BPA-free plastic and microscopic glass particles. Composite offers a wide range of shades to match natural teeth.
After diagnosing dental decay, Dr. Bussell will discuss your treatment with you. If anesthetic is necessary, he will gently numb your tooth, so you remain comfortable throughout your procedure.
Dr. Bussell will gently remove all signs of decay and bacteria before applying a bonding agent to your tooth. He will then carefully select composite to match your tooth and begin filling your cavity in layers, hardening each layer with a curing light. Once your tooth is filled, Dr. Bussell will polish and shape your filling to blend perfectly with your tooth.
Replacing Metal Fillings
Dental restorations last a long time, but many will need to be replaced at some point in order to remain effective. The force from chewing, teeth grinding, and age can cause a filling to break down.
We can replace old metal fillings with esthetic tooth-colored fillings or crowns to protect your teeth and improve your smile.
Composite filling material is also beneficial in the repair of small chips, wear, and gaps between teeth. This conservative cosmetic dentistry procedure makes it possible to improve the appearance of teeth by adding to existing tooth structure with minimal removal of healthy tooth.
Contact Us for a Dental Appointment
To learn more about tooth-colored fillings or schedule your next dental exam, contact our Royal Palm Springs dental office today.