Tooth-Colored Fillings for Optimal Strength and Esthetics
In most cases, fillings are the most effective treatment for moderate tooth decay. A filling will strengthen your tooth and prevent additional damage. It is also a conservative option, since it will preserve a large amount of your tooth. In the past, fillings were always made of metal. Today, Jacksonville Dentist Dr. Lysandro Tapnio offers only tooth-colored composite fillings. These restorations provide both cosmetic and functional benefits. They will blend naturally with your smile, and they will bond strongly with your tooth.
The Causes of Tooth Decay
Cavities are the result of oral bacteria. When these microbes gather on your teeth, they will form into a film called plaque. After a while, plaque will harden into tartar. Both plaque and tartar contain oral bacteria which will be in direct contact with your teeth. Sugars and starches are the main source of energy for these bacteria. Therefore, every time you eat, they will thrive and interact with the starches to form acid. The acids will wear into your teeth, eventually granting the bacteria access to the deeper levels. When they move beyond your dental enamel, a cavity will develop.
Dental decay progresses slowly. Through regular dental hygiene, you can often keep cavities from occurring. Additionally, when you visit the dentist regularly, Dr. Tapnio can often detect the earliest signs of decay before a cavity affects your entire tooth.
Why Place Dental Fillings?
If you have already developed a cavity, Dr. Tapnio can usually treat the decay in a single appointment. A filling will seal off your tooth so that bacteria cannot come back inside. The material will also strengthen your weakened tooth, and you will be able to bite and chew normally. It is important to get a filling as soon as you or Dr. Tapnio notice the symptoms of a cavity. If you do not treat decay quickly, the bacteria will spread to the rest of your tooth, your gums, your other teeth, and even your jawbone.
The Filling Process
Before placing your filling, Dr. Tapnio will numb your tooth. Then he will carefully remove the decayed area, as well as any severely weakened portions of your tooth. Because of the local anesthetic and Dr. Tapnio’s careful techniques, you will feel very little during this process. When all bacteria and decay are gone, Dr. Tapnio will reshape the inside of your tooth in preparation for the filling. In many cases, he will place a liner at the bottom of the cavity, especially if the decayed area is near your dental roots. The liner will protect your nerves and prevent post-treatment sensitivity. Then he will treat the inside of your tooth with a mild chemical solution. This solution will create microscopic fissures in the walls of your tooth. The process will involve negligible discomfort, but it will create more surface area and a stronger bond for the filling.
Following all prep work, Dr. Tapnio will place the restoration. Tooth-colored composite comes in many different colors. Prior to your treatment, he will choose the color that is the closest to the natural shade of your smile. He will rinse your tooth and treat it with a bonding agent. Then he will place the composite in layers, using a curing light to harden each layer. When the filling is in place, Dr. Tapnio will make sure that the restoration does not interfere with the force of your bite. If needed, he can trim away any excess composite. When you are both satisfied with the results, he will shape and polish the visible portion of the filling to restore your beautiful smile.
The Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
No matter what they are made of, fillings will strengthen your tooth and help prevent additional decay. However, tooth-colored restorations offer unique benefits over traditional metal fillings. These advantages include:
- Appearance: Metal fillings can eventually show through your teeth. Composite, on the other hand, will match the normal shade of your smile. Thanks to Dr. Tapnio’s precision and artistic eye, your filling will be virtually undetectable.
- Strength: Composite will form a stronger bond with your tooth than metal.
- Tooth preservation: In most cases, composite fillings involve less alteration of your tooth than metal restorations.
- Health benefits: Silver amalgam is the most common metal used for dental fillings. This material contains up to 50% mercury, a highly toxic metal. Composite, on the other hand, is mercury-free.
In many cases, Dr. Tapnio can replace your existing metal fillings with composite restorations. In this way, he can protect your oral health and eliminate discoloration due to old fillings.
Contact Us to Learn More
If you have a cavity, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. If you would like to replace older metal fillings with tooth-colored restorations, Dr. Tapnio will be happy to be of service. Contact us today to learn more about tooth-colored fillings and their benefits.