Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic illnesses in the US. About 96% of Americans will develop a cavity at some point in their lives. And if you get a cavity, a filling is the usual treatment. In the past, we used metal amalgam fillings, but now we use tooth-colored fillings to restore not only the health but also the beauty of your smile. A composite filling is quick and inexpensive–it can be placed in a single short visit. And when properly placed, they can be very long-lasting.
Why Fill a Cavity?
Cavities, called caries by dentists, occur when tooth decay creates a literal hole in your tooth. Some oral bacteria feed on sugar and other simple carbohydrates in your diet. As they eat, they excrete acid. Your tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, but it’s vulnerable to attack by even a relatively weak acid. The acid eats away your tooth enamel and can eventually create a small hole. This hole then becomes a shelter for oral bacteria–they can avoid your saliva–which hurts them–and your toothbrush–which removes them. And because these holes trap food, too, bacteria can multiply faster there. The small space becomes full of more concentrated acid, which can speed the decay process. Eventually, the cavity will grow until the bacteria reach the living part of the tooth–called the pulp. Your tooth can then be infected, which requires root canal therapy to treat.
Filling a cavity takes away the shelter used by oral bacteria. It stops the progress of that cavity and helps your teeth resist infection. And with composite fillings, they can restore the beauty of your smile, too.
Keep your smile all white and free of mercury and metal with composite resin fillings. We believe that restorative dentistry does not have to compromise a beautiful smile. Dr. Safarian places aesthetic, tooth-colored fillings instead of dark amalgams.
Placing composite fillings is an easy process. First, Dr. Safarian will remove damaged tooth structure. He will clean out the area to make sure there are no bacteria. Then he will place the composite in the hole. The composite is a resin (plastic) with ceramic inclusions to add strength and luster to the filling. It starts as a soft putty, so it can be easily spread into the filling. Then we shine a light catalyst on it that causes the filling to harden and bond with your tooth. For larger fillings, we might place the filling in layers.
Schedule your oral exam with Irresistible Smiles today by calling our convenient Chula Vista Dentist office.
If you’re interested in composite resins, learn more in our patient library. The higher your dental IQ, the more comfortable and qualified you’ll be in making important decisions about your oral health and cosmetic dental procedures.
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