Your mouth is filled with bacteria. Without proper brushing and flossing, these bacteria can damage your teeth. They feast on sugars and other foods lingering in your mouth after eating. As they do, they produce acids that eat away at your enamel, creating pits in your teeth, commonly referred to as cavities. Bacteria hide out in the cavities and continue to cause damage. Without treatment, the cavity can enter the inner layer of your tooth, leading to serious infection. To stop the damage and prevent serious consequences, Water's Edge Dental offers fillings.
Commonly referred to as silver fillings, due to their color, amalgam fillings have long been the most common fillings for cavity treatment. Amalgam fillings consist of a mixture of materials including silver, tin, and zinc. These materials are held together by mercury.
Even though the material stands out from the rest of your natural teeth, amalgam is a popular choice for back teeth, due to its exceptional strength. However, it is often the cause of controversy, because it contains mercury. The actual levels are quite low and have been proven to be harmless. Amalgam fillings can last for many years and are the least expensive choice.
The procedure for amalgam fillings is straightforward and can be completed in one visit. First, we clean the decay from the cavity. We use a drill to make the space big enough to fit and hold, the filling. Once space is cleaned, we pack in the filling material, smooth it and dry it.
Composite fillings are a popular choice for filling cavities in visible teeth. It can also be used to treat minor chips and cracks. Made up of a fine glass of a resin material, composite fillings match the natural color of your teeth. However, the material is not quite as strong as amalgam, so it is usually reserved for teeth toward the front of your mouth. They are also more expensive than amalgam, but less expensive than other treatment methods, such as veneers. It is also a great option if you have a metal allergy and cannot use amalgam.
Composite fillings can be placed in one of two ways. The first way, direct, is similar to how amalgam fillings are placed. The cavity is cleared of decay. The filling is placed and dried with a special blue light before being polished smooth. The second, or indirect, a way of placing a composite filling involves two visits. First, we remove the decay and prepare the cavity. Next, we take an impression of the tooth, which is sent to a lab where your custom filling is created. We temporarily fill the space while you wait. Upon your second visit, the permanent filling is cemented into place.
Fillings help to stop and prevent further damage done by harmful oral bacteria. However, it is important to take measures to prevent cavities from happening in the first place. A proper oral hygiene routine consists of:
If you have a cavity or suspect there is one present, call Water's Edge Dental to schedule your appointment today.