Dental hygiene is crucial for keeping your whole mouth healthy. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. It is also recommended that you have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year. These components of your oral care are essential for preventing serious issues such as cavities. If a cavity does develop, Sussex Dental can help with fillings.
Getting a CavityCavities are the result of tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when acids from plaque and oral bacteria linger on the surfaces of your teeth. The acids begin to erode the enamel, leading to weak spots. Over time, these weak spots lead to the formation of small pits, or cavities. Getting treatment for cavities is essential. Without it, the cavities only continue to grow in size, weakening the structural integrity of your teeth. Cavities can also lead to serious infections inside the teeth, where the only options for treatment are root canals or extractions. The sooner you get treatment, the easier it is to restore the health of your mouth and protect the integrity of the affected teeth.
Traditional Cavity TreatmentAmalgam fillings are the traditional treatment for cavities. They have been in use for over 150 years and are known for being incredibly strong. These fillings are made up of a mixture of different metals, including tin, silver, copper, and nickel, which are suspended in mercury. When cured, they can withstand some of the strongest bite pressures. Placing amalgam fillings is a fairly simple procedure that can be completed in just one appointment. These types of fillings are placed under a local anesthetic. We begin by cleaning the tooth and removing the decay to make room for the filling. After the tooth is completely cleaned, the filling material is placed inside and smoothed before it is hardened. While amalgam fillings are strong, they do have a few significant disadvantages. First, they are silver in color. This can be aesthetically problematic, particularly for cavities in the front of your mouth. Amalgam can be troublesome for individuals with metal allergies. The mercury content in these fillings is also a concern for many individuals.
Composite FillingsComposite fillings are a more modern alternative to traditional amalgam fillings. Composite restorations use a composite resin to fill in cavities. This substance is made up of fine glass, plastic, and other materials. This particular material, while not as strong as amalgam, does have some significant advantages. One of the biggest benefits of composite fillings is that they are tooth colored. The material blends in perfectly with the rest of your natural tooth, rendering it indistinguishable. This makes composite the perfect filling material for cavities that affect the teeth visible when you smile. In addition to this benefit, composite fillings do not contain any metals or any mercury. The material also bonds with your tooth rather than simply filling the space. The process for placing a composite filling is similar to the process for placing an amalgam filling. Because composite bonds with your tooth, less of the tooth structure needs to be removed. As a result, depending upon the size and location of the cavity, you may not need a local anesthetic. The tooth is cleaned and the decay removed. Next, the composite resin material is placed in the cavity, and the material is cured using a specialized light. Finally, the composite is polished to a smooth finish. If you suspect that you have a cavity, it is important to seek treatment quickly. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Sussex Dental today at (262) 246-2232.