Dental fillings are used to repair teeth that have been damaged by cavities. A cavity is caused by dental plaque and bacteria that breaks down the mineral structure of the tooth. Once the outer, enamel layer of the tooth is destroyed, the cavity begins to breakdown the softer inner layer of the tooth, called dentin. Patients with cavities may have sensitivity to cold beverages and sweets. If the cavity is not treated early on, it can continue to progress until it reaches the center of the tooth where the nerve lives. When the nerve becomes irritated, the patient may start to have sharp-shooting pain that lingers with hot/cold beverages and crunchy foods. In some cases, swelling or an abscess can occur. Your dentist doesn't want you to be in pain, and that's why we recommend taking care of cavities when they are still small. For the filling procedure, the patient is numbed, and the dentist removes the cavity and any weakened tooth structure. The tooth is cleaned and prepared, and the filling material is placed. The filling is sculpted, shaped and polished to match the tooth's natural contour. Most fillings placed today are tooth-colored and blend in with the patient's natural teeth.
Think you might have a cavity? Call our office today!