Tooth decay is a bacterial infection that penetrates a tooth’s enamel and eats away at the inner portion of the tooth. The best way to prevent tooth decay is to brush and floss daily as well as limit your consumption of food and drinks that are high in carbohydrates. Practicing good dental hygiene habits and visiting Dr. Cederbaum’s office for regular dental checkups are essential for cavity prevention.
The professional dental cleaning you receive from our hygienist during your checkup will remove plaque and tartar. This helps prevent dental infections such as tooth decay and gum disease. And when our hygienist polishes your teeth it doesn’t just make your smile shine — it also makes your teeth more resistant to cavities. If you already have a cavity, it’s important for us to discover it as early as possible. The longer a cavity remains untreated, the more damaging it will be for your smile.
What Is a Filling?
A dental filling is a treatment to restore a tooth that’s been damaged by decay. At Debra L. Cederbaum, our dentist offers several types of fillings to achieve your restorative goals. Choosing the right filling for your cavity depends on several factors, including the size of the cavity and also aesthetic issues related to how well the filling matches the natural color of your smile.
The first step in filling a cavity is removing the decayed matter from the tooth. After Dr. Cederbaum cleans out the cavity, she fills the region. Many of our patients prefer to use composite tooth-colored fillings. These fillings are made from either ceramic or glass which is combined with plastic. Composite fillings are strong, attractive, and designed to match the color of your smile. They’re practically invisible and they don’t leave space for bacteria to enter and reinfect the tooth.
If a patient’s cavity is allowed to progress for a long period of time without treatment, it can threaten the life of the tooth. In order to avoid extraction, it might be necessary to restore the tooth using an onlay, inlay, amalgam filling, or a crown.
Onlays and inlays are made of ceramic, a strong and highly attractive material used to make porcelain veneers and dental crowns. Onlays and inlays are used when the decay is so extensive that a regular filling would not provide enough support to maintain the integrity of the tooth. In fact, onlays and inlays are much stronger than traditional fillings. Both onlays and inlays fill the area between the cusps of a tooth, but an onlay fills both the area damaged by the cavity as well as the tooth’s biting surface.
Amalgam fillings are made from a combination of metal and other material including mercury. Many patients are apprehensive about using amalgam fillings and they aren’t very attractive. If the damage is too extensive to use an onlay or an inlay, Dr. Cederbaum may elect to use a dental crown.
If you’re experiencing any type of dental discomfort, call our office right away or fill out the form below and one of our friendly team members will get right back to you.