Maybe you are getting ready to start your day, or prepping and primping for a big night out. Or maybe you are just brushing your teeth. There you are, going about your business when you notice it: a cavity. And not just any cavity, this cavity is right our in the front of your mouth where you and everyone else can see it! Cavities are not only unattractive, they are also unhealthy. And if you let them go, they are only going to get bigger, and may lead to an infected tooth. That in turn may result in a root canal or if necessary, an extraction.
First, don’t panic. On one hand, no one wants a cavity in any tooth, let alone a tooth that is visible to the world. On the other hand, a cavity can be easily fixed by our dentist, Dr. Danlu Lee & Wendy Yeung. To repair a cavity, the dentist will first remove the decayed material and then prep the surface of your tooth for a filling, but the question is, what is the best kind of filling for your cavity?
Composite resin or tooth-colored fillings have become stronger over the years, and are as strong as traditional or amalgam fillings. They don’t require as much drilling as other types of fillings because they form themselves to the shape or your cavity. However, that is not what makes them so popular. People often prefer composite fillings since they are made of a mixture of resin and powdered glass and contain no mercury, which is a health concern for some people. However, the biggest reason that composite fillings have become such a hit is because the resin can be shaded to match the color of your tooth. Once a composite filling is in place, they will be virtually unnoticeable to other people. While composites can be used any of your teeth, their color makes them ideal for cavities that show up in your smile.
To place a composite filling, the dentist will first remove any decayed tooth material. Then, he will mix the resin until it matches the color of your tooth. Then, the dentist will apply the composite. The process of placing a composite takes longer than other fillings, since it has to be applied in layers, and each of those layers has to be cured before the next one can be applied. Once the last layers has been cured, the dentist will polish your new filling to strengthen it and make it stain-resistant. Remember that even though the composite is stain-resistant, it can eventually be stained over time by dark-colored foods and beverages and tobacco use. If that happens, you will need to the dentist to have it polished. If the filling starts to show signs of wear, it can easily be repaired by adding new layers to it when necessary.
If you are showing the first signs of a cavity in Kirkland, Washington, don’t wait for it to get worse. If you would like to make an appointment at Radiant Smiles Family Dentistry, call (425) 828.9721 today. We’ll be happy to give you and exam and tell you more about composite fillings.