Dental caries, better known as cavities, are a very common form of tooth decay. Over half of children ages six to eight, have had a cavity in their first set of teeth, and for adolescents ages 12-19, over half have had a cavity in their permanent teeth. One in four adults currently has at least one cavity. Tooth decay can rapidly deteriorate the enamel, exposing the soft inner tissues of the root. Tooth decay at any level must be treated to prevent its spread, and further symptoms like tooth loss, root canals, and abscesses. Fillings are patches used to cover holes created by tooth decay. Fillings vary in size and material, they are a quick non-invasive procedure. At Schnierow Dental Care, restorative dentistry is part of our everyday practice.
Dental Filling Types
Silver amalgam fillings are very common; they are more affordable than gold or porcelain. Silver fillings are durable, biocompatible, and form-fitting. They are more affordable but can fall out in five to seven years. Gold fillings are biocompatible and corrosion-resistant; they are the most durable of all filing materials, and the most expensive. Porcelain fillings are a popular alternative filling; they are biocompatible, durable, and aesthetically pleasing, they can last up to 15 years. Composite resin fillings are just as popular as silver amalgams, the composite resin is cheap, highly durable, and biocompatible, and resins can be made in a variety of shades, so color matching is possible for any tooth color.
Installing Dental Fillings
If you have any cavities, a dentist will notice them during a dental exam. Depending on the level of decay, the procedure may be administered with anesthesia. The first step is cleaning the teeth. The infected tissue is removed from the cavity with a small drill. Once a space has been cleared for the filling, the area is rinsed and cleaned again. With silver amalgam, the amalgam is applied to the space and molded to fit the bite of your jaw. Composite resins are applied the same way but hardened with a UV light.
After Effects of Tooth Decay
At Schnierow Dental Care we work to fight tooth decay. Regular dental exams and dental cleanings help strip away plaque and tartar. Plaque and tartar carry harmful aerobic bacteria that eat away at tissue and cause decay. Tartar is acidic, and it eats away at tooth enamel allowing the harmful bacteria it carries to enter the more vulnerable layers of the tooth. The results of tooth decay over a long period may include loss of teeth, inflammation of the gums, abscesses, gum recession, and bone loss. Severe tooth decay in some cases can spread to the tooths supporting bone structures and create a misalignment in the neighboring teeth.
If we find that you have a cavity, we can treat the affected area within a single session. They are low-cost and eliminate existing tooth decay, helping you sustain your oral health. If your dentist suspects that you have habits affecting your oral health, they will encourage and educate you to change these behaviors in conjunction with improved oral hygiene. Call our team today at (424) 383-5005 to schedule a dental exam or cleaning today.