Nothing strikes dread in the hearts of most people quite like hearing, “You have a cavity” during your dental visit. However, with advances in dental technology, cavities aren’t usually a difficult fix, and getting a filling doesn’t have to be scary. We’ll walk you through the process that Dental Beauty uses for its Bucks County, PA patients, and give you some tips to prevent a cavity discovery for your next dental visit.
Dental Fillings and Treating Cavities
The dental filling process begins with anesthetizing the area around the affected tooth, deep enough to ensure that the root of the tooth doesn’t feel anything. Then, the dentist uses a small drill and delicate, pointed scraper to remove all the decay from the cavity. The area is then rinsed, inspected, and prepared for filling.
Unlike the amalgam fillings of the past (usually silver metal), many dentists, including those at Dental Beauty, are opting for composite fillings instead. These filling alternatives are tooth-colored, which gives a more even, white appearance and smile, and they are crafted from material that adheres more securely to the surface of the tooth. This greatly reduces instances where decay gets underneath the silver filling, necessitating a repeat procedure.
Common Causes of Tooth Cavities
Cavities are the result of poor oral health. The bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking and drinking sugary beverages, and not cleaning your teeth well all contribute to tooth decay — and that leads to cavities.
Decay starts with plaque forming, which is a sticky substance that adheres to the surface of the teeth. When sugars and starches aren’t properly cleaned off your teeth, the bacteria in your mouth feed off them and produce plaque. Over time, plaque build-up turns into tartar. When plaque attacks the surface of your teeth, it creates tiny pinholes, which grow into cavities. As the decay develops, it eats through the enamel of the tooth into the softer pulp and root. This is typically when most people become aware that they have a cavity, as once the cavity reaches the root and pulp, it becomes quite painful.
If cavities aren’t treated when they’re small, they’ll grow, eventually affecting the tooth root, causing painful swelling and infection. Infections in your mouth can be very dangerous to your overall health, affecting your brain and heart health.
Preventative care means reducing the number of causes of tooth decay that happen in your everyday life. There are several good habits you can begin to reduce the number of cavities you have, and some things you may be doing that are increasing your chances of developing decay and cavities.
● Visit your dentist every 6 months for professional cleaning and a check-up. This allows the dentist to catch cavities when they’re small, and haven’t significantly impacted the health of the tooth.
● Reduce the amount of sugar you consume, including sodas and other sweetened beverages. If you do indulge in a treat, brush 30 minutes afterward and if you can’t, rinse your mouth with water.
● Lack of fluoride, either through not getting fluoride treatments at the dentist or filtering it out of your water also opens your teeth up to more decay. Fluoride protects your teeth.
● Certain health conditions, such as chronic heartburn and GERD or eating disorders, also excessively wear at the enamel of your teeth.
Book Your Appointment Today!
At Dental Beauty, we offer comprehensive services to help improve the overall health of your mouth, including cosmetic bonding, crowns and bridges, and more. Give us a call or fill out our online form to book your appointment at our Feasterville, PA, office today!