When we examine our Dallas, TX, patients and find cavities, we offer treatment to halt the progression of decay and safeguard the smile. But how does a dental filling stop a cavity, and when should we see the dentist to receive one? We’re going to talk about our tooth-colored solutions to cavities, and what steps can be taken to help prevent future cases of decay.
The Causes of a Cavity
How does a cavity form in the first place? Our smile’s natural defense against tooth decay is the outer layer of tooth enamel. The strongest substance in the human body, enamel prevents harmful bacteria from reaching the more sensitive inner layers of tooth structure, such as the dentin and the pulp. However, when poor oral hygiene weakens and erodes enamel, or when injury damages the protective layer, bacteria meet the dentin beneath and start forming cavities. Over time, these spread and grow in severity until bacteria reaches the pulp, your tooth’s living nerve center. At this point, an infection or abscesses may form, leading to serious discomfort and an increased risk of tooth loss.
The Placement of a Tooth-Colored Filling
To stop the progression of decay, we may recommend a one-visit solution with our tooth-colored fillings. Instead of using metal to create one, we use composite resin. A mixture of glass of acrylic, the metal-free material can be shaded to match the appearance of surrounding tooth structure. After we clean the tooth, remove the decay, and prepare the material, we place it in several layers. We then shape the tooth as we cure the composite resin under a light. We complete the procedure by polishing the tooth.
Preventing Future Cases of Cavities
You can take a few simple steps to help reduce your risk of developing tooth decay. For example, try to cut back on sugary foods and drinks. Be sure you’re brushing your teeth twice daily with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. You also need to floss every night before going to sleep. We also recommend seeing us twice a year for a checkup and cleaning, so we can monitor your smile and treat decay in the earliest stages. We also remove plaque buildup in a cleaning, which helps reduce the risk of a cavity forming.
Gentle Smiles Family Treats Tooth Decay
At Gentle Smiles Family Dentistry, we want to keep your smile healthy and comfortable with our custom restorations. Contact us today to discuss our restorative treatment options by calling 972-329-7645 (972-329-SMILE). We strive to offer our patients of all ages compassionate, effective, and individualized care. At Gentle Smiles, we are proud to serve families from Dallas, TX, and the surrounding communities, including Mesquite, Balch Springs, Garland, and Seagoville.