Dental fillings are a common treatment that many people are familiar with, and yet there are many misconceptions about what they can accomplish and why they are used to treat cavities. The team at our Corpus Christi cosmetic dentistry center would like to take a moment right now to look at the basics of dental fillings and how they can help you get the best possible dental health. We'll also look at some alternatives to dental fillings which are ideal for severe tooth decay just so you have a basic idea of how restorative dentistry works.
Cavities (also known as dental caries) are areas of lost or severely weakened tooth material caused by plaque build-up. Plaque is an acidic substance that gradually eats at the enamel layer of the tooth, and even the dentin layer within. Plaque is caused by the naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth as the bacteria feeds on food particles left on the teeth.
How Dental Fillings Work
Our dentists in Corpus Christi use dental fillings help replace the lost tooth structure. By doing this, the further progress of the tooth decay is halted and the overall strength and integrity of the tooth is restored.
The Best Candidates for Dental Fillings
The best candidates for dental fillings are people who have small or regular dental caries rather than severe tooth decay. They should be in otherwise good dental health and have enough strong tooth structure on the problem tooth that treatment will not prove risky.
The Dental Fillings Procedures
First the teeth are cleaned in order to remove any food particles in and around the cavity. The dentist then removes the decayed tooth structure and ensures that the area is clean. Once that is accomplished, the dental filling is then used to fill in the missing tooth structure.
In the past, metal fillings were the norm, though today, white fillings made from a composite material are used. This means that contemporary fillings blend in seamlessly with the color of the tooth. These composite fillings also require less removal of tooth structure to place, which is better for patients overall.
Dental Restorations for Serious Tooth Decay
When the tooth decay is very serious, a traditional dental filling will not be able to achieve the best general dental care results. In those matters, more substantial dental restorations will be a better option. Inlays and onlays, for example, will be considered first when needed. Inlays and onlays are similar to dental fillings, but they are able to restore larger amounts of damaged/decayed tooth material, such as the cusps (biting surfaces) of the teeth.
When the tooth decay is too severe, the best option in those instances are dental crowns. Corpus Christi dental crowns are caps that fit over the tooth, protecting it from further damage and restoring the overall strength of the tooth. The dental crown will also reduce any pain or sensitivity caused by the tooth decay.
Contact Our Advanced Dental Care Practice
For more information about dental fillings and your many other options for dental restorations and dental care, be sure to contact our Corpus Christi cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The entire team here looks forward to helping you achieve the best possible dental health as well as the best-looking smile possible.