Tooth decay, also known as dental caries, is caused by the acid-producing bacteria found in plaque. These acids eat away at the enamel (the outer-most layer of a tooth), leading to the formation of cavities. At Aspen Family Dentistry, we always try to treat a cavity before it progresses into a more serious complication. If we diagnose you with a cavity during your routine checkup, we will likely treat the tooth with a dental filling. Fillings can also be used to repair cracked, broken, or worn down teeth, specifically with the use of composite resin.
There are several types of filling materials, some of which include:
We begin the composite filling procedure by using a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, we will remove any decayed tooth material and clean out the cavity with a special solution. The surface of the cavity will then be etched and conditioned to create a stronger bond between the composite and the enamel.
Once the tooth is properly prepared, we mix the composite ingredients and place them directly into the cavity. We use a color shade to pick the color of composite that best matches your tooth. After the composite is in place, we use an ultraviolet curing light to harden the material and expedite the bonding process. We then trim any excess material and polish the composite until it matches the sheen of your enamel.
Dental fillings are easy to care for and maintain. Be sure to follow good oral hygiene practices, and schedule checkups and cleanings at regular intervals. Brushing with ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste can help protect the tooth from further decay. Flossing once a day can also drastically improve your oral health.
Sensitivity issues are normal during the first few days with your new filling. If this issue persists or worsens over time, be sure to schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible. We may need to repair or replace your filling.