What is a Cavity?A cavity is a small pit that forms on the surface of a tooth. It develops as a result of tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when the acids from plaque and bacteria linger in your mouth and on your teeth. The acids cause the enamel to begin to erode or weaken. These weak spots eventually give way to cavities. While decay can often be reversed, cavities cannot. Instead, cavities need to be treated.
Tooth-Colored FillingsFillings are one of the most common solutions for cavities. Traditionally, cavities have been filled using amalgam. Amalgam is made up of a mixture of metals suspended in mercury. While incredibly strong and effective, amalgam has a few major disadvantages. First, amalgam is silver, meaning that it stands out against the rest of your tooth. Amalgam fillings also contain metal, which can cause problems for those with metal allergies.
Tooth-colored fillings are an alternative to traditional amalgam fillings. These fillings use a material called composite resin. Composite resin is a tooth-colored, metal and mercury-free material that is made up of fine glass, plastic, and other substances. Because it is tooth-colored, it blends in with the rest of your natural tooth, creating a seamless restoration. In addition to restoring the health of a tooth affected by a cavity, a tooth-colored filling also improves the appearance of a visible tooth and the quality of your smile.
The Process for Getting a Tooth-Colored FillingGetting a tooth-colored filling is a fairly simple procedure that takes only one appointment and about 30 minutes. After administering a local anesthetic, we begin by cleaning the tooth and drilling away the decay. Next, an acid etch is used to create a rough texture in the cavity. This texture ensures that the composite resin will more effectively bond with your tooth.
The acid etch washed off, and your tooth is dried. The composite resin is applied to the cavity. A specialized light is used to cure, or dry, the material. Finally, the filling is polished smooth. Once the procedure is complete, your tooth is provided with immediate protection.
What are the Benefits of a Tooth-Colored Filling?There are many benefits associated with tooth-colored fillings.
A tooth-colored filling not only treats a cavity, but it also helps to improve the aesthetics of the affected tooth, improving the quality of your smile. If you suspect that you have a cavity, call Harry Albers DDS today at (707) 806-0545 to schedule your appointment.