A cavity is a hole in a tooth caused by tooth decay. It first appears on the enamel on the tooth’s exterior and works inward. When cavities aren’t properly treated, such as with dental fillings, it can lead to pain and tooth loss.
How are Cavities Treated?
There are different treatments for cavities, and the one chosen will depend on the size and severity of the cavity. In the worst cases, the dentist may not be able to save the tooth at all and, thus, have to extract it.
On the other hand, extremely small cavities can be reversed through a process called “remineralization.” The dentist treats the affected tooth with a substance containing calcium or fluoride. Both harden the teeth and make them more resistant to cavities. In most cases, the patient will need a filling.
What is a Filling?
Dental fillings are used to restore the shape and function of a decayed or damaged tooth. They also help protect the tooth from further damage or decay. When a patient gets a filling, the dentist will first numb the treatment area. He will then remove the decayed or damaged part of the tooth and carefully clean the remainder. He will then install the filling.
Types of Dental Fillings
Dental fillings can be made from several different materials. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Gold fillings are among the most durable of fillings and can last for over 20 years. Silver or amalgam fillings are strong and durable and can last 10 to 15 years.
Composite dental fillings can be made to exactly match the color of the patient’s teeth. They are, thus, a good choice for the visible front teeth. They can also be used to treat more than just cavities. Common problems that composite fillings can correct include chipped teeth, cracked or broken teeth and worn teeth.
During a consultation at Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry, with offices in Winter Haven and Champions Gate, you can learn more about dental fillings and how they may help to treat your cavities. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started!