The outermost surface of your teeth is a hard tissue called enamel. Throughout each day, some of the sugars and starches you eat stick to your enamel. Bacteria begin to feed on those sugars and starches, forming a sticky film called plaque.
That bacteria creates acid that eats into your tooth tissue, a process that can eventually extend into layers beneath your enamel. Left untreated, decay can quickly advance to the point it threatens the structure of the tooth. Once decay reaches the soft pulp in the inner chamber of a tooth, an infection develops that can be very painful.
Fillings are a treatment for cavities, which work to restore a strong barrier between the environment in your mouth and the inner layers of tooth tissue. There are several materials that can be used to create fillings.
Metal amalgam was once the preferred material for fillings, but advancements in dental technology have made tooth-colored fillings the more common option in modern dentistry.
These fillings can be shaded to match the color of your teeth. Once in place, composite fillings are virtually indistinguishable from your natural tooth tissue. Glass ionomer fillings may also create a natural appearance.
When you arrive for your filling your provider gives you an injection of numbing medication to eliminate sensation in the treatment area. Dr. Donald then removes all of your tooth tissue that has decayed, taking care to preserve as much healthy tooth tissue as possible.
The area is rinsed and dried before the filling material is placed. Some materials are cured or hardened using a special treatment light. Dr. Donald checks to ensure the surface of your filling is smooth and won’t interfere with your bite.
There’s no need for any special care for fillings, although it’s always a good idea to avoid chewing ice or biting down on hard objects. Dr. Donald checks your fillings during each routine dental exam, and he can replace fillings that are worn or have come loose.
If you have additional questions about the process of getting dental fillings or the pros and cons of various filling materials, schedule a visit at Cisco Dental today. Online booking is available, or you’re always welcome to call and check appointment availability.