Only 1% of humans go through life without a cavity, according to research. If you’ve not already been victimized by decay, you probably will be. Cavities are caused by bacterial infection, so the only way to stop the damage from worsening is by removing the bacteria. As bacteria eat tooth enamel, they leave decayed tissue behind. A dentist can remove the bacteria and decay, but the tooth will be left with a hole that makes it even more vulnerable than before the bacterial infection started.
This is why dental fillings are necessary.
Dr. Abbey Lee places white fillings, made of composite resin, into the hole that remains after bacteria and decay are removed from a tooth. She tints the composite resin to match natural enamel, so the filling virtually disappears, blending seamlessly with existing tooth structure.
When it comes to dental fillings, there are two primary options: amalgam and composite resin. Amalgam is a dark material that contains a mix of metals, including mercury, which is a hazardous heavy metal. While the FDA and WHO have not banned amalgam, it has been deemed unsafe for certain patients. Dr. Lee prefers to place only composite resin fillings, because they offer patients more benefits than amalgam.
Composite resin fillings:
The same material we use for white fillings can be bonded to teeth to close gaps, repair chips, and correct shape imperfections.
If you have a cavity that needs filling, Dr. Lee may perform the procedure the day of your diagnosis. The process of placing a white filling takes only a few moments, in most cases.
To repair a small cavity or chip on the surface of tooth enamel, anesthetic may not be required. When decay extends into the enamel, near or into the dentin of a tooth, anesthetic will be administered to keep the patient comfortable.
Dr. Lee will remove decay and bacteria from the tooth, then sanitize the hole. She’ll then insert liquid resin, tinted to match surrounding tooth enamel. The filling material will be exposed to a gentle curing light, and within a few minutes, the liquid resin will have formed a durable, hard filling. After checking occlusion against opposing teeth, Dr. Lee will make any necessary adjustments.
Your toothache and dark decay will be history, and you’ll leave our office with an unnoticeable white filling. Only you and Dr. Lee will know that you’ve had a tooth filled.
You may not know that you need a filling. In some cases, tooth decay doesn’t present any symptoms, and it’s not always visible to the naked eye. However, common signs of tooth decay include a toothache with no stimulus, pain when biting or chewing, sensitivity to hot and cold, or the appearance of a black spot.
It’s also important to know that fillings are not meant to last forever; they will wear out and fail in time. If you develop a toothache on a previously restored tooth, it might be time for a new filling.
When a toothache develops, or if you want your amalgams replaced with white fillings, call Smiles 4 Grant Park to schedule your visit with Dr. Lee. She’ll evaluate your situation, talk with you about treatment options, and provide excellent care for your immediate and long-term oral health.