Learn why dental restorations are so important from Newport Beach Dentist
When a dentist tells you that you need a restoration such as crowns, bridges or veneers for your tooth, but you aren’t suffering from any pain, it can be easy to stall on getting the dental repair done or even put it off entirely. However, this can lead to several issues down the road, so it is never advisable to delay treatment. Dr. John Ravera, a dentist in Newport Beach, CA, explains more about dental fillings and why they are so important.
How a dental filling works
Fillings are one of the most common dental procedures performed in the United States. In fact, only about one out of five children in the United States make it to the age of 17 without a cavity. Even when you are rigorous about daily brushing and flossing, these small pockets of decay can form in your teeth. When this happens, the decayed material needs to be removed from the tooth, and then the tooth is filled with new material to restore the full function of the tooth and prevent further bacterial growth and damage. When the decay or pathology is small, fillings are a conservative method for restoring health and function to the tooth. As the decay or pathology progresses, however, veneers and crowns are the treatment of choice.
Historically, fillings were made from a material called amalgam that consisted of a mixture of metals, but nowadays, many patients prefer to get tooth-colored fillings made from a composite material that looks natural and does not contain metal.
Why are dental fillings so important?
A cavity is essentially a small hole in your tooth that is formed due to bacterial growth in your mouth. When you eat sugary or starchy foods like soda, candy, desserts, or even bread and pasta, the carbohydrates remain on your teeth until you brush and floss. Then, the bacteria in your mouth begin to feed off these sugars and, in the process, turn them into acids. All these materials combine with your saliva to form plaque, a sticky film that sticks to your teeth. Plaque also contains acids which eat away at the enamel on your tooth, which is what eventually causes a cavity. There are lots of places in your mouth that bacteria can grow and multiply, so even brushing and flossing regularly can miss some of these spots, especially in the deep crevices in molars, between closely spaced teeth, areas where teeth have already had dental restorations, and in any chips or cracks in your teeth or areas where your gums have receded.
Don’t worry if you won’t remember all these steps that lead to cavities, though — the important thing to emphasize here is that once a cavity forms, it will not go away on its own. Bacteria inhabit the decayed area of the tooth, and unless both the decayed material and bacteria are eliminated, they will continue to erode the tooth. Over time, this can lead to extensive damage to the tooth, extreme pain, and even tooth loss. All of this results in more time-consuming, invasive procedures and more costly dental restorations, such as root canals, bridges, or dental implants to get you out of pain and restore the badly damaged or missing tooth.
To summarize, getting a dental filling in a timely fashion once tooth decay is discovered is important not only for your oral health but also your schedule and your wallet!
The process for placing a filling
The two main components of the dental filling process are: (1) removing the decayed portion of the tooth, and (2) filing the hole with a material that is strong and safe. Specialized tools are used to clean out the decayed area of the tooth, and then it is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before placing the filling material in the hole. If you are getting a tooth-colored composite resin filling, a blue UV light will be used to cure and harden the filling. Dr. Ravera will then check your bite and re-shape the filling as needed.
Learn more in a consultation
If you have been told that you need a filling or you suspect that you may have a cavity or other tooth issues due to pain in your mouth, it is important not to delay treatment. At John Ravera D.D.S. General & Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide gentle, comfortable care and offer options to eliminate the stress associated with the dental chair for patients who suffer from dental anxiety. Call our Newport Beach, CA office today at 949-877-3606! Existing patients can call us at 949-706-7097.Back to Home Page