Besides a check-up and prophylaxis, perhaps among the first dental treatments everyone has received is a tooth filling. This is because despite our best efforts to practice proper oral hygiene, naturally-occurring bacteria are always present in the mouth, creating plaque acids that destroy tooth enamel resulting in tooth decay that needs to be removed right away and filled with a dental filling to prevent the damage from going beyond the enamel and into the pulp chamber. Because when this happens, a tooth ache may be triggered requiring root canal therapy or worse when the tooth gets infected, it may need to be extracted.
It is important therefore that we visit the dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings to find cavities when they are still quite small and easy to handle. A small cavity means only a small portion of the tooth will need to be removed. Leaving it unattended may cause the cavity to move closer to the root or the nerve, making the tooth more sensitive during treatment and thus requiring more local anesthesia to be delivered to the area. Additional materials like a liner made of glass ionomer or composite resin may need to be applied to protect the nerve before putting on the dental filling.
Dental fillings come in gold, silver amalgam (mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc and copper), or tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) and porcelain. For natural-looking restorations, tooth-colored fillings are most suitable. Composite resin can be completed on the same day as it is directly bonded to the tooth but for a more durable and stain-resistant filling, a porcelain filling ordered from an outside lab to be bonded on the next appointment may be a more practical choice.
If you suspect cavities in your teeth or if you have old fillings that are damaged and exposed, it’s time to get tooth-colored fillings from Dr. David A. Smith of Really Smile Dentistry. Both conditions are breeding grounds for decay-causing bacteria that must be cleaned away and sealed off as soon as possible. Call Dr. Smith’s Carmel, IN dental clinic at 317-451-4050 for the appointment that will save you a lot of trouble in the future.