Sometimes, no matter how diligent we are in maintaining the optimal health of our teeth, we develop cavities or tooth decay. In the past, these fillings were obvious to others when you opened your mouth, with traditional filling material primarily made up of metals. Today, we specialize in quickly addressing your cavities with natural-looking, tooth-colored fillings that help keep your mouth healthy and your confidence high.
As mentioned above, a cavity is the result of decay – typically brought on by carbohydrates like bread, cereal, milk, soda, fruit, cake or candy that isn’t cleaned off the tooth. This food and the surrounding bacteria, acid and saliva create plaque which then begins to dissolve your enamel and create holes.
This decay affects both the outer coating of the tooth (the enamel) and the inner layer (the dentin). To prevent significant damage, the procedure of a filling is provided to stop further decay. A filling is simply the process of removing the decayed portion of your tooth and then “filling” it with tooth-like material.
Natural Tooth Colored Fillings
In the past, patients needing filling had limited choice in the type of filling material that was available. Traditionally, fillings were a mixture of different metals. Today, there are more and more options, including metal-free, natural-looking fillings that are definitely the preferred choice. Tooth colored fillings are made of tooth-like materials (like composite resins and porcelains) that not only look like your real tooth, but react like natural teeth as well. This ensures that no one but you knows that you have fillings.
Here are some benefits of having natural tooth colored fillings:
- New materials (as opposed to metal fillings) create a better bond with your existing tooth, helping teeth to create a more secure connection and a more comfortable filling.
- Dental porcelain material imitates the enamel part of the tooth (the part everyone can see)
- In addition, these dental composite resins used in natural colored fillings mimic the natural dentin that is found in the inner part of the tooth – something that metal fillings could not do.
- There is greater success in “restoring” your tooth using these composite resin/porcelain materials since they create a good bond with the existing enamel and dentin. Because of this, you’re not only getting a tooth that looks like the original but will react like a natural tooth as well.
What is the Process of Getting a Filling?
During the course of your regular preventative check up with Dr. Ito, our team may come across a cavity by probing your teeth, looking for soft spots, and using X-rays to check between your teeth. Chances are if you’ve had a cavity for some time you probably know it. You may have experienced a toothache, or felt some sensitivity when eating or drinking something that is hot or cold. You might even be able to spot dark, decay spots. Once a cavity is identified, here are the main elements of the procedure:
- The actual procedure itself can be done in one visit. Composite fillings do take a little longer than those of other materials. This is because once the decay is removed, the tooth needs to be completely protected from saliva.
- Once the area is prepared, Dr. Ito will apply an adhesive followed by layers of tooth-colored composite. Once in place, it will chemically harden and be cured for a moment with a special light.
Visit Us and We’ll Take Care of You
At Sonoran Hills Dental, our team is here to help you maintain your healthiest and most beautiful smile. Trust that we provide the latest in technology and options for your oral health. Contact our team today to schedule a time to be seen by Dr. Ito.
Learn more about our practice located in Phoenix, check out the rest of our cosmetic services, and get to know our team and Dr. Ito – we are excited to work with you to achieve your oral health needs.