Let’s get one thing out of the way. Cavities are preventable. But if you’ve already developed a cavity, then that’s a topic for another day (or paragraph). It’s important that infected material is removed and that your cavity is filled by a dentist near you to prevent tooth decay from spreading and undermining the structure and integrity of your tooth.
For a dentist in South Edmonton, filling cavities is a routine matter. Considering how avoidable they are, though, and how important it is that they be treated effectively when they do develop, it’s worth spending a bit more time on the topic.
What causes cavities?
While genetic influences do play some factor, the most significant cause of cavities is the ongoing presence of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a biofilm that accumulates on your teeth in your gums as you eat and process food, especially foods high in sugar and starch. Plaque converts sugars and starches to acids that eat away at your enamel. By eating away, we mean digging holes into your teeth — quite literally cavities. Those cavities become pools for holding more and more bacteria and plaque which can accelerate the progress of tooth decay unless it is halted as quickly as possible.
How are cavities treated?
To halt the progress of tooth decay, your dentist in South Edmonton will remove decayed tooth material which ironically has the effect of making some cavities even bigger. Unfortunate as that is, it’s necessary to prevent the spread of that tooth decay on the tooth or to other teeth. Once all decayed tooth material has been removed, the remaining cavity can’t be left open but must undergo dental fillings treatment near you. Filling that cavity prevents bacteria and food particles from accumulating in the space to begin the decay process anew and replaces some of the structural integrity lost with the removal of decayed material.
What are your filling options?
Traditionally, cavities have been filled with gold or “silver” amalgam fillings that are made up of a combination of several metals — including some silver but also some mercury. Today, you have more options than those if you’re having a cavity filled by a dentist in South Edmonton.
At Jagare Ridge Dental, many people opt for tooth-coloured fillings made from composite resins that are tinted to match your healthy tooth and applied to your cavity in layers to fill the space. The composite material is initially a putty-like substance that is easily placed in the cavity and moulded to meet other layers and gradually but completely fill the void. Each successive layer is hardened using dental lasers. Tooth-coloured composite fillings in South Edmonton are increasingly popular because they blend with your teeth and appear natural without the garish and all-too-obviousness of a silver or gold filling. Opting for tooth-coloured fillings near you may be an especially attractive option if your cavity is located on any of your incisors or canine teeth. Those are the six teeth in the front of both jaws that (especially on the top) are often referred to as your “smile zone.”
Removing tooth decay and filling a cavity is typically a process that is completed in a single appointment. If you have an unusually large cavity, the filling process with composite materials may take longer than usual and may even require a second appointment. That’s simply because composite filling materials tend to take longer to dry than traditional metal filling materials.
If you suspect you have a cavity or you have a filling that seems loose or fragile, get in touch with a dentist near you and ask if tooth-coloured fillings are available to protect your teeth and preserve your natural smile.