In a healthy mouth, the enamel – the hard outer layer of the tooth – protects the softer tissues inside. Acidic food and beverages can attack the enamel, forming a sticky layer loaded with bacteria, known as plaque. Plaque eats away at the enamel and decays the tooth, resulting in an opening called a cavity that will need to be repaired, most commonly with a filling. Northside Dental in Carmel, Indiana is your trusted source for tooth colored fillings.
Symptoms of Tooth Decay
- Toothache: Continuous pain that keeps you awake or occasional sharp pain without an apparent cause. Note that tooth decay may not cause any pain.
- Tooth sensitivity: Pain or sensitivity with hot, cold or sweet foods and beverages
- Grey, brown or black spots on your teeth
- Bad breath
- Unpleasant taste in your mouth
How We Treat Tooth Decay
There are various ways to treat cavities and tooth decay, depending on the cause and the extent of deterioration. A filling is one of the most common ways.
A filling repairs and restores the surface of your tooth that has been damaged by decay, fracture, or wear. It helps strengthen your teeth. If tooth decay is not repaired in its early stages, it can worsen, and additional or alternative dental treatments may be necessary.
Today, almost all cavities are filled with tooth-colored composite resin in a quick and painless process!
The composite resin used in fillings is a combination of finely ground acrylic and quartz-like particles that can be tinted to match the color of your afflicted tooth. The adhesive can also be securely bonded to your tooth’s structure to create an effective seal against oral bacteria and reinfection.
Am I a good candidate for tooth-colored fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings are best for small to medium-sized cavities. They are an excellent choice for people who prefer more natural-looking dental restorations.
What are the benefits of tooth-colored fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings are an excellent option for both front and back teeth. Perhaps their most significant benefit is the ability to blend in well with the surrounding teeth. In many cases, the filling is nearly invisible! In addition to restoring cavities, tooth-colored fillings can be used to fix chipped, broken, or worn teeth.
How are tooth-colored fillings placed?
Composite fillings usually only require one office visit. First, the tooth will be numbed to make you as comfortable as possible. Next, the decayed portion of the tooth will be removed. The area will then be cleaned to prepare for the new filling. We will then place the filling, shape, harden, and polish it.
You may have some sensitivity to cold and hot beverages initially after treatment that will typically go away within a few weeks. Practicing good oral hygiene habits, like regular brushing and flossing, will help your fillings last for a long time. Maintaining your regular dental exams with us will ensure your fillings last for years to come.
How to avoid tooth decay
- Brush your teeth two times a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Brush for at least two minutes each time
- Floss daily to remove debris that can cause decay
- Maintain a regular schedule of cleanings and exams with Drs. Neff and Price
- Ask if fluoride treatments and dental sealants can be of benefit to you
- Cut down on sugary and acidic foods and beverages