Regular, daily brushing and flossing are essential elements to healthy teeth. So, too, are regular dental cleanings and exams. But sometimes, despite your best efforts, cavities can still occur. If you are faced with cavities in your teeth, National Dental Upper East Side can help with fillings.
How Cavities FormCavities form as a result of tooth decay. Oral bacteria thrive on leftover food particles and sugars in your mouth. If you miss spots while you brush, or neglect your oral hygiene routine altogether, the oral bacteria continue to feast and reproduce. As they eat, they produce harmful acids, which attack the enamel of your teeth. Eventually, the acids begin to eat through the protective layer, forming pits, or cavities. Bacteria can easily hide in cavities, and continue to cause damage. Untreated, the cavities continue to grow, and can eventually make their way into the inner layers of your teeth, and cause serious infections.
Types of FillingsThere are a couple of different types of fillings. The first is an amalgam filling, often referred to as a silver filling. These fillings have been used for decades, and with good reason. Silver fillings are exceptionally strong, and can withstand even hard biting forces. This is what makes them popular for back teeth. However, the color of amalgam fillings often makes them undesirable. The material they are made from also pose problems for some people. Amalgam fillings are made up of silver, nickel, tin and copper, suspended in mercury. Many patients are averse to the mercury content, although it has been proven to be safe for use in your teeth.
The other type of filling is a composite resin filling. This filling is made up of fine glass in a composite material. Composite resin is also used for dental bonding. This material is popular because it matches the color of your natural teeth, making it perfect for your more visible teeth. However, composite resin is not as strong as amalgam. It can withstand normal bite forces and is often reserved for teeth toward the front of your mouth.
How Cavities are FilledThe process for getting a filling is a simple one. Amalgam fillings can be completed in one visit. We start by administering a local anesthetic. We then use a drill to remove decay and prepare the cavity to hold the material. Once the tooth is prepared, it is cleaned and dried. The material is packed into the cavity, smoothed and dried.
A composite resin filling can be placed in one of two ways. The first method is similar to that used for amalgam fillings. The cavity is cleared of decay, cleaned and dried. The material is placed, dried and polished.
The second method for placing a composite resin filling is referred to as an indirect method. Once your tooth is prepared, we take an impression of the tooth. The impression is then used to create a filling. Once it is ready, the filling is cemented into place.
If you suspect a cavity in your teeth, don’t wait. Contact National Dental Upper East Side today at (646) 736-2206 to schedule your appointment!