The Connection Between Tooth Decay and Dental Fillings

The Connection Between Tooth Decay and Dental Fillings

June 1, 2023

Teeth fillings bear you are a common procedure used to repair teeth damaged by tooth decay. When left untreated, cavities can grow into larger & more serious problems that could require root canal treatment or even extraction of the affected tooth.

Several types of fillings are available, including silver amalgam (a mixture of mercury and other metals), porcelain, composite resin, and gold. The choice of material depends on the decay’s extent, the cavity’s location, and your dentist’s preference.

Silver amalgam is one of the most commonly used materials to make fillings because it is extremely strong & durable. However, it is also very expensive & may not be as attractive to some patients as other filling materials, such as tooth-colored composite resins.

Tooth-colored fillings match the color of your natural teeth, so they will look completely natural when you smile. They are very popular with patients who want a filling that is virtually invisible. Although some materials are strong and durable, no permanent tooth fillings exist. These restorations do not last forever and may need replacement after a few years.

How Do Fillings Work?

Tooth decay occurs when acids from plaque attack the outer layer of your teeth, called enamel. Without proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups, this enamel can erode away, exposing your tooth to acid-producing bacteria.

Once the decay penetrates the enamel, it will gradually chip away at the surrounding structure of your tooth. This is why your dentist may recommend a filling to remove the decayed area before it grows larger and more dangerous.

If left untreated, a cavity can lead to more serious problems, such as root canal treatment or extraction of the affected tooth.

When you receive a filling, your dentist removes the decayed area and replaces it with a biocompatible material that will act as your tooth’s new structure. This allows the dentist to slow the decay rate and restore your tooth’s function and appearance. You can also get front teeth gap filling to close the spaces or fix crooked teeth.

How are Dental Fillings Fixed?

The process of fixing a dental filling is relatively straightforward:

  1. Your dentist in Clearwater will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort during the procedure.
  2. The dentist will remove the damaged part of the tooth and shape the remaining cavity to prepare it for the filling. The next step is to fill the cavity with either silver amalgam or tooth-colored composite resin material. The filling is then shaped and smoothed to fit the tooth perfectly.
  3. The dentist will use a special light to harden the filling material, securing it in place.

What is the Connection Between Decay and Fillings?

Tooth decay occurs when the oral cavity bacteria produce acid that breaks down the tooth enamel. If left untreated, tooth decay can progress and cause significant damage to the tooth, leading to a toothache, infection, or even tooth loss. A dental filling is a common treatment option for treating tooth decay. It involves removing the decayed part of the tooth and filling the cavity with a material such as composite resin or amalgam. The filling helps restore the tooth’s shape and function while preventing further decay. Sometimes, a filling may be recommended even without decay as a preventative measure or to address cosmetic concerns.

However, it is crucial to understand that fillings do not prevent tooth decay from occurring in the future. Good oral hygiene is crucial to preventing tooth decay.

How Can I Prevent Tooth Decay?

It is most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene and sugary foods. Combined with a healthy diet and regular dental visits, this can help prevent tooth decay.

The main cause of tooth decay is the bacteria found in plaque, which accumulates on the surface of teeth from poor dental care, sugary foods, and time. These bacteria secrete acid that eats away at the enamel.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Sunset Point Dental for more information about teeth fillings and what you can expect during the procedure.

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