Composite Tooth Colored Fillings
Brushing and flossing your teeth are essential steps for keeping them strong and healthy and preventing the development of cavities. Cavities are commonly thought to be an issue faced by children. While children do tend to be more prone to cavities, they can affect the teeth of anyone, regardless of age. When cavities form, they need to be treated promptly. Untreated cavities only worsen, destroying the structure of the affected tooth, and leaving it susceptible to bacterial infection. At Neu Family Dental, we can stop a developing cavity and restore the health of the tooth with composite fillings.
How Do Cavities Even Happen?
Plaque and bacteria are naturally occurring contaminants in the mouth. Brushing and flossing both help to remove them. When they are left to build up in the mouth, they lead to cavities. Both plaque and bacteria produce harmful acids that erode your enamel. This decay eventually leads to the formation of small pits or cavities. Bacteria take up residence in cavities, hiding away from the toothbrush bristles and floss. They continue to eat away at the tooth, and the cavities grow larger. The structure of the tooth begins to weaken. Bacteria can even eat into the inner layers of the teeth, which can lead to a serious, and painful, infection.
Treating Cavities With Composite Fillings
Traditionally, cavities have been treated with amalgam fillings. They are well known for their superior strength and have been a popular treatment for over 150 years. Amalgam is made up of several metals, including silver, tin, nickel, and copper, that are suspended in mercury, which acts to bind these metals together to form a durable filling. Their durability makes them popular for cavities in teeth at the back of the mouth, where bite forces are their strongest. However, amalgam does have a few major disadvantages. First, it is silver in color, so it is not a good option for teeth visible in your smile. Second, the mercury, and often metal, components of the filling raise concerns for many patients.
This concern has led to the development of composite fillings. Composite fillings are made of composite resin, which is a mixture of plastic, fine glass and other materials. Unlike amalgam, composite fillings bond with the tooth structure, rather than simply filling space. While not as strong as amalgam, composite fillings can stand up to normal daily use in areas where chewing forces are not as strong. Composite fillings are also tooth-colored. This enables them to blend in seamlessly with the rest of the tooth.
The process for placing composite fillings is similar to the process for placing amalgam. It is a fairly straightforward procedure that can easily be completed in a single visit. We start by cleaning the tooth and removing the decay. Because composite bonds to the tooth, less of the natural structure needs to be removed. Depending on the severity and location of your cavity, you may or may not need a local anesthetic. Next, we place the composite resin into the cavity and cure it with a special light, hardening the material. Finally, it is polished smooth, making it indistinguishable from the tooth.
The Benefits of Composite Fillings
Composite fillings offer numerous benefits.
Treating cavities as soon as possible is essential for preventing serious oral health issues. Composite fillings not only restore the health of a tooth affected by cavities, but they also restore the appearance of your smile. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Neu Family Dental today at (847) 230-9143.
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