Cavities are one of the most frequent dental issues we see here at Hurley Family Dentistry. While a good home care routine and regular exams and cleanings go a long way toward reducing the number of cavities a person is likely to experience, we have yet to eliminate them entirely. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every person in the U.S. is likely to experience a cavity at some point in their lifetime.
We don’t think that just because you have had a cavity your smile should be forever marred. In the past, the only options available for treating cavities were silver fillings. Although these fillings were effective, they left easily identifiable dark marks on the teeth.
Today, we are able to fill cavities using tooth-colored restorations. These fillings are made of a composite material that can be blended to perfectly match the natural shade of your tooth. This means that once the filling is placed, even you will have a hard time spotting it.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings
The most obvious advantage of tooth-colored fillings is, of course, the fact that they match your enamel. The benefits don’t end here, however.
Unlike silver (amalgam) fillings, composite fillings bond with your tooth structure. Metal fillings require us to create an “anchor” to mechanically hold the filling in place. Composite fillings are placed in layers and cured for a tight bond. What does this mean for you? A smaller prep and less drilling!
We can even use tooth-colored composite to make small cosmetic improvements to your teeth. This procedure is known as “bonding” and allows us to repair small chips and conceal other imperfections.
What to Expect at Your Filling Appointment
Before we begin your filling, we’ll make sure that you are comfortable and relaxed. We’ll start by placing a topical numbing gel on your gums. After a few minutes, we’ll remove the gel and administer your anesthetic to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure.
Once Dr. Charles or Dr. Emily has confirmed that you are comfortable, he or she will start carefully removing the decayed portion of your tooth. When this is complete, your tooth will be isolated and conditioned for the filling.
At this point, the filling material will be placed in the prepared spot and cured using a special type of blue light. This sets up the filling almost instantly.
When the filling is set, Dr. Charles or Dr. Emily will shape and polish it to make sure that it blends in well with your enamel and that your bite is comfortable.
Is It Time for a Check-Up?
Cavities are usually painless for a long time. Catching them early, when they are small, makes treatment simpler.
If you’re due for an examination, call our Chesterfield dental office today to schedule your next appointment.