To say that dental fillings are extremely common would be a monumental understatement. For most dentists, this is a staple that we perform every single day, often several times in the same day. Most people, in fact, associate the dentist with dental fillings and teeth whitening. As more patients learn about how teeth work, more people are aware of how cavities are formed and with them the need for dental fillings.
A cavity is a small hole that forms in the tooth as a result of bacterial acid secretions wearing down the enamel in this one particular spot. Bacteria occur naturally in the mouth, where it attempts to colonize on the teeth. You can easily tell the presence of bacteria by the plaque, a thin film, which forms on your teeth.
When you eat foods that are high in either sugar or starch, these bacteria secret an acid. This acid is what causes the enamel to break down and form a cavity.
What you need to know
Most people do not realize that the teeth can naturally keep cavities at bay until the infection overwhelms them due to the sheer volume of acid. The teeth gradually rebuild the damaged enamel, using calcium and phosphate which occur in the saliva and fluoride from water or toothpaste. Dental fillings may be a staple, but they are still the focus of a lot of research. What we have discovered is that we can make patients more comfortable with their dental fillings if they are natural in color and do not stand out as much.
The old gold and silver colored fillings were not attractive, often making it seem like a person always has something in his or her teeth. Also, these were not good alternatives to fill front facing or prominent teeth. The solution has come by way of a composite, made up of plastic and glass, which is now used for most dental fillings. We can make the solution match any color of teeth so that once the dental filling is in place, no one will even know that it is there.
An ideal treatment
The improvement and search for a better way did not stop with the composite fillings. We know that teeth can repair themselves, albeit slowly. To make sure that teeth can do so, we need to give them that opportunity and ensure that all cavities receive proper treatment. When someone has a cavity, the decay seeps into the tooth, so it becomes necessary to remove a small portion of the enamel as well as the decay. Next, we need to clean the decay out and fill in the hole.
Dental scientists at the University of Maryland Dental School have been working on a revolutionary new product. To make sure that there is no residual bacteria in the cavity, and to make sure that none can form later, this new product incorporates silver nanoparticles and ammonia into the filling and adhesive used to secure the filling. These are natural antibacterial substances that kill any cavity-causing bacteria on contact.
As a provider of dental fillings in Little Elm, we are interested to see the results of this research and the long-term impact of this filling. In the meantime, our tooth-colored fillings are a durable solution for your dental needs.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with us, call (972) 292-2288. Our dental office is located in Little Elm. Call New Era Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today.