About 80% of us has had at least one cavity by the time we were age 17, according to a 2000 report by the U.S. Surgeon General. Fillings, as their name suggests, seal the small hole(s) in a person's tooth that have been caused by decay (i.e. cavities). This prevents the acid-producing bacteria from further decaying teeth and spreading the infection to other parts of your mouth.
In fact, if left untreated, bacteria can infect sensitive nerves in the inner pulp tissue of the tooth's root canal, which means that you'll need a root canal. Something your Kissimmee dentist, Dr. Vincent Grosso, knows that you probably want to avoid.
How Fillings are Administered
The procedure is simple:
- Your dentist performs a clinical exam using x-rays to determine the extent of tooth decay.
- Under anesthesia, the decayed area is removed using a handheld instrument.
- Your dentist then roughens or etches the remaining tooth with a mild acidic solution.
- Finally, translucent cement is applied to bond the tooth and filling material together.
Types of Fillings
There are two categories of dental fillings:
1. Metal Fillings
Amalgam: This classic silver filling is strong and inexpensive but hardly transparent. Dental amalgam is an alloy made of silver, tin, and copper.
2. Tooth-Colored Fillings
- Composite: This transparent composite is a mixture of plastic and glass that bonds to the rest of the tooth.
- Porcelain: This filling is made of a high-tech dental ceramic that's strong, lifelike and doesn't stain like composites.
- Glass Ionomer: This option is made from acrylic and glass powders, making it a more budget-friendly translucent filling.
Need Dental Work? Call Today!
If you have any questions about fillings, be sure to contact your Kissimmee, FL, dentist today! Dr. Grosso is available at (407) 350-5969.