Despite our best efforts to keep our teeth healthy, it is still possible to develop a cavity. When this happens, a filling is necessary to stop the decay and repair the tooth. Once the decay is removed, it is necessary to protect the area to keep out unwanted bacteria, by filling it in with a dental composite. Composite resin is a white material available in numerous shades to match the color of your natural teeth. Scientific advances have made it possible for composites to restore your tooth to nearly its original integrity and appearance.
What Causes Tooth Decay (Caries)?
Tooth decay, or dental caries, is a bacterial infection that breaks down and demineralizes the hard tissue of your tooth. This occurs primarily because of the oral bacteria feeding off of food remnants on the surfaces of your teeth.
Over time, bacteria breaks down food remnants, creating the acids responsible for softening your enamel, forming a dental cavity. Back teeth are more susceptible to decay because of their grooves, and because they can be difficult to reach while brushing. People who frequently eat high-sugar or high-carbohydrate foods also put their teeth at a greater risk.
Other risk factors for cavities include:
- Younger age or older age
- Dry mouth
- Certain medications
- Some cancer treatments
- Heartburn or acid reflux
- Inadequate fluoride
- Eating disorders
If not treated, dental caries can cause pain, more extensive dentistry, or tooth loss. Dental cavities cannot be fixed without treatment.
How Do I Know if a Filling Is Necessary?
We use modern diagnostic tools and imaging to determine whether you need a dental filling or a different type of procedure. Once we have a diagnosis, we will explain your condition so that you can make an educated decision regarding your dental health.
How Do I Care for a Filling?
A filling should fit seamlessly with your natural tooth, and for that reason caring for a filling is much like caring for your natural teeth. Brushing and flossing twice a day, as well as regular dental cleanings and examinations with Dr. Rahimi or Dr. Linder are great ways to ensure the longevity of your fillings.
Do I Need a Dental Filling?
If you suspect you have decay or you need a routine dental exam to maintain your health, please call our office to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. We look forward to partnering with you to preserve and maintain a beautiful smile.