Dental caries (tooth decay) are incredibly common. In fact, about 99% of people will develop at least one cavity in their lifetime. When teeth are damaged, a professional must repair them because, unlike other parts of the body, they do not self-heal. Small regions of decay are normally treated by a small restoration called a filling. A filling will restore the tooth’s shape and prevent the cavity from deepening. Our dentist provides a variety of restorative and cosmetic treatments, including tooth colored fillings, to help our patients enjoy the benefits of healthy teeth and gums.
Why Restorations are Necessary
To understand why restorative dentistry is sometimes a necessity, people should understand the basics of tooth anatomy. The outer layer of teeth (tooth enamel) is a mineralized barrier that prevents bacteria from eating through its softer, interior structures. When tooth enamel is broken down by wear and tear or weakened by exposure to acid, the underlying structures of teeth are virtually indefensible to cavity causing bacteria. For many people, enamel erosion and weakening is unavoidable and since damaged teeth cannot self-repair, restorations are needed to stop the spread of the cavity and restore a tooth to its rightful size.
How Fillings Restore Teeth
A filling replaces a small area of tooth decay by “filling in” the damage done by a cavity. Placing a filling is minimally invasive. Patients will only require a local anesthetic. The tooth will then be cleaned and its decayed portion will be removed. A filling is then bonded to the tooth. In the past, fillings were very noticeable. This is because they were made from amalgam, a dark metal compound. Today, however, a more natural looking option is available. Tooth colored fillings are made from composite resin. This compound is very durable and can be matched to the exact color of biological tooth structure. The result is a very discreet restoration that is unnoticeable to others.
To schedule a checkup or consultation with our experienced dental team, call our office today.