How a Composite Filling Can Correct a Cavity and Restore Your Tooth
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four adults between the ages of 20 and 64 has at least one cavity. Further, more than 57% of adolescents between 12 and 19 years have had a cavity in their permanent teeth. As the statistics show, cavities are prevalent. Though we should take the steps to protect the health of our teeth and gums, sometimes cavities happen. And when they do, a composite filling can not only correct your cavity, but restore your tooth, too.
Why do I have a cavity?
Before we get into how we can treat cavities, let’s spend a bit of time talking about how you got that cavity in the first place. Cavities are permanently impaired areas located in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny holes. These holes, called cavities or dental caries, can spread to the entire surface of your tooth and even to your other teeth when left untreated. Further, because of their very nature, cavities can widen and deepen, making your teeth more brittle and prone to breakage, cracks, and chips.
Your cavity results from tooth decay, and several risk factors, including age, can make you more susceptible to developing one, including:
- The location of your teeth (your back molars are harder to get to when brushing and, as a result, are more likely to develop cavities).
- Consumption of sugary and starchy foods.
- Frequent snacking and sipping of drinks other than water.
- Inadequate brushing and flossing.
- Not getting enough fluoride (ask your dentist about fluoride treatments).
- Dry mouth.
- Worn fillings or dental devices.
- Eating disorders.
- Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Though some parts of your body, such as your bones and skin, can heal after injury or damage, your tooth enamel cannot. Once the enamel has been broken through by a cavity, the only option is for a dentist to repair it. And depending on how much damage your tooth has sustained (how big your cavity is), your dentist will recommend either a filling or a crown. Crowns are usually reserved for severely damaged teeth, whereas fillings can treat minor damage and tooth decay.
The goal of this dental treatment is to prevent the decay from progressing. Once it reaches the dentin (the layer below your enamel), the decay speeds up. Your dental team wants to stop the decay before it reaches the pulp at the center of your tooth. This can prevent unnecessary pain and discomfort, not to mention the need for a root canal and crown.
Composite fillings look and feel just like your natural tooth.
We will do everything we can to help you save your natural teeth at Davis Family Dental Care. Through preventive dentistry, we aim to prevent decay before it becomes a cavity. This is why we, and dentists all over the country, recommend that you visit the dentist every six months. During your appointment, we’ll conduct a thorough professional dental cleaning to remove stuck-on plaque and tartar. We’ll also conduct a thorough oral exam to identify potential problem areas we need to monitor.
If we do identify tooth decay, or if you are experiencing any tooth pain, the chances are that you may need a filling. If your cavity is not treated, it can cause problems such as:
- Severe pain and infection.
- Tooth loss.
- Gum disease.
If we determine that a composite filling can effectively treat your cavity, we will clean out the infected parts of the tooth, doing our best to preserve the maximum amount of natural tooth structure.
Once the affected area has been treated, we will fill your tooth with composite resin. This material is aesthetically pleasing and is designed to match the color and translucency of your natural and adjacent teeth. This means that no one but you and your team at your Bedford dental office will know you had a cavity or required a filling.
Your new composite filling is designed to last five to 10 years, though some patients can keep their fillings for 12 years or more!
Contact Davis Family Dental to learn how a composite filling can restore your tooth.
If you believe you have a cavity, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at Davis Family Dental Care as soon as possible. The longer you wait to treat your cavity, the more likely you will develop a toothache or infection. If your tooth decay has progressed further and a filling will not satisfactorily treat it, we can help. We can also provide root canals, dental crowns, tooth extractions, and dental implant treatment to help you restore your smile. We’re here to help, so don’t delay. Contact us today.