Despite your efforts to keep teeth clean and healthy, sometimes cavities are unavoidable. Luckily, Dr. Christopher Henes and his staff offer different options to fill your fillings in Aurora, CO! Some symptoms like sensitivity to hot, cold, sweets, or even pain in a tooth may indicate that you have a cavity requiring a filling. Current technology makes it possible for you to have a composite tooth filling blending in with the natural color of your tooth. Dental fillings are used in the dental world to prevent the progression of dental decay (cavities). Once the damaged tooth structure is removed, the tooth is cleaned and a white filling is bonded to the tooth. These white fillings are shaped and contoured to mimic how the tooth once was and helps not only with function, but also with aesthetics.
Tooth fillings are needed when a tooth has a “cavity” or a hole. These cavities could be created from either, not brushing or flossing enough, continuous snacking throughout the day, or drinking high sugar content drinks. Like the old saying “anything in excess is not healthy” the same goes for your mouth. In your mouth, you have millions of bacteria swimming around and when you forget to brush excessively, snack throughout the day excessively, or drink substances that contain high amounts of sugar excessively these bacteria thrive. When these bacteria start to thrive they lower the pH making your mouth a more acidic environment which causes destruction of healthy tooth structure. This destruction then causes little holes or cavities to appear in your mouth. The good news is that there are a couple of different options for restoring these cavities.
The most common tooth filling material that most people want is a composite or a white colored filling. The reason that composite fillings are the most common filling material is because this material looks just like your own tooth. A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth. Another advantage of a composite filling is that the tooth does not require extensive drilling. That is because the composite filling material is bonded / glued to your tooth structure. Before the filling is placed, the tooth has to be prepared to accept the filling. The tooth surface is cleaned with an etchant for 30 seconds and then rinsed away. Once the tooth is cleaned the glue / bond is placed on the tooth to help place and bond the composite material. To help cure the bond and the composite a blue light is placed on the tooth to help harden both the bond and composite. The most important step is after we wash off the etchant. Once the etchant is off the tooth it is extremely important to keep the tooth dry and free of saliva. If the tooth gets contaminated with saliva then we have to start all over and the tooth has to be re-etched. Because these fillings are glued to your teeth they have a tendency to become unglued over time and may need replacement from time to time. Composite fillings are ideal if you have a small cavity. The other option of filling material for your teeth is an amalgam filling. Unlike composite fillings amalgam is silver in color and is more ideal for larger tooth fillings. Also, amalgam is not bonded to the tooth structure like composite is. One advantage of an amalgam filling is that it may last longer, especially if the affected tooth is needed for chewing. Another option of filling material for your tooth could be a porcelain or composite inlay or onlay. Porcelain or composite inlays or onlays can be fabricated in office while you wait with our CEREC milling unit. However, an inlay or onlay is for a tooth requiring a more in-depth restoration in lieu of an ordinary filling.
In recent news we have heard a great deal of publicity discussing the potential harm in getting amalgam fillings. The problem is that amalgam contains a toxic substance called mercury. However, many dentists still restore teeth with amalgam fillings. Although some people are sensitive to amalgam fillings, others have no problems. An amalgam filling is not made solely from mercury. An amalgam is a mixture of mercury with other metals. Consequently, many dentists feel that the amount of mercury in an amalgam filling becomes insignificant when used to fill a deep cavity. However, some people are unable to tolerate metal in their mouths because it can cause their teeth to become sensitive to hot and cold beverages and foods.
At the end of the day whether you receive a composite filling, an amalgam filling, or even an indirect filling like an onlay or inlay the most important part is maintenance and regular follow up by Dr. Christopher Henes and his team. You should continue to care strictly for your dental fillings and your natural teeth. Continue to brush and floss regularly. Keep regular exams and cleanings with Dr. Christopher Henes. When you treat your fillings well, they will maintain an attractive appearance and boost your overall health for years.
If you are interested in learning more about our dental fillings and you are in need of a dental filling call 303-695-0102 or book an appointment with our 5-star-rated dentist. We are conveniently located on Iliff near I-225. During your session, our experienced dentist and team will take the time to answer all your questions about our treatments, our office, our flexible payment options, and anything else you may want to know about us! Come to experience Iliff Family Dental and our unmatched patient experience! You will quickly see why people in Aurora, CO love us