If you have developed one or more cavities, dental fillings are usually the recommended treatment. These restorations replace the damaged part of your tooth and give you a tooth that looks and functions like new. They also stop the process of decay so your teeth can last longer without need for more restorations.
If you have or suspect you have a cavity that might need filling, we can help. The compassionate, caring Dr. Bob has built a tradition of dental excellence in Butler for nearly 40 years. He is the name people trust for the best restorations in and around Butler. Please call (724) 282-4436 today for an appointment at Advanced Dentistry of Butler.
How Cavities Happen
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, even harder than bone. It’s also the most mineralized part of your body, about 96% mineral, which is largely responsible for its hardness. But this is also why our teeth are vulnerable to acidic attack.
Stomach acid, acidic foods and drinks, and more can all erode our teeth. But cavities are caused by local acidic attacks from oral bacteria. Oral bacteria live in our mouths, feeding mostly off from sugars, although they can also use other kinds of carbohydrates. When they feed, these bacteria excrete acid, and that acid attacks the teeth. At first, these attacks remove mineral from the enamel, then they create small holes in the enamel.
These holes, called cavities, provide shelter for the bacteria and trap food that the bacteria can feed on. This allows the bacteria to create more acid and enlarge the cavity. Fillings can replace the lost tooth enamel and stop the process of decay there.
What Are Composite Fillings?
Composite fillings, also described as tooth-colored fillings, are a plastic resin material that’s been embedded with ceramic fragments for strength and durability. The resin starts out soft, which means it can be shaped to fit the cavity. Then, when exposed to a curing light, the filling hardens, becoming very strong and durable.
When polished, the composite fillings are virtually indistinguishable from your natural tooth enamel.
Benefits and Limitations of Composite Fillings
Composite fillings are great treatments for most cavities. That’s because they are:
- Quick to place
- Usable for small cavities
- Capable of creating a strong seal with tooth
These benefits make composite fillings our first choice for most cavities. They represent a great improvement over metal amalgam (silver) fillings in terms of appearance and they don’t contain toxic mercury, but they’re just as durable as these older dental fillings.
However, there are some limitations of these fillings that might mean we recommend other fillings in certain circumstances. Composite fillings can:
- Lose their polish
- Cause sensitivity in large cavities
- Weaken tooth in large cavities
Because of these limitations, we might recommend ceramic inlays and onlays for large cavities or when you’re looking for the most attractive restorations possible.
Affordable, Attractive, Convenient Fillings
If you’ve got a cavity or two that need filling, composite fillings are a great option. They are affordable, give an attractive result, and can be placed quickly so you can get in and out of your appointment without putting a major dent in your busy schedule.
If you’re looking for great dentistry delivered with compassion in Butler, PA, please call (724) 282-4436 today for an appointment with Dr. Bob at Advanced Dentistry of Butler.