Posts for tag: fillings
When a tooth experiences decay--a cavity--your family dentist in Fort Worth, TX, will treat it so you have good oral health once again. Dr. Brad McConnell offers natural-looking and durable tooth-colored fillings which literally make decay disappear. If you suspect you have a cavity, look forward to expert and lifelike restoration from Harris Parkway Dental Care.
The story of tooth decay
It happens to almost all of us at some time in our lives. How does it happen? Well, the American Dental Association (ADA) says that bacteria-filled plaque forms on and between teeth all the time. Oral bacteria called Streptococcus mutans is active in your mouth, feeding on food residues and giving off acids that destroy tooth enamel. This microbe is responsible for your cavity.
Unfortunately, if undetected, a cavity can invade the interior of a tooth, causing infection, fracture, and eventual tooth loss. However, the good news is that with routine check-ups and cleanings at Harris Parkway Dental Care, your teeth can stay healthy and plaque-free. Plus, your Fort Worth dentist will see those spots of decay at their earliest stages and treat them quickly.
The material of choice
Today's dental fillings are more lifelike and durable than ever. While in years past amalgam, or metal, fillings were the only material dentists had at hand, now Dr. McConnell may choose from porcelain inlays and onlays (partial crowns), composite resin (a blend of glass and acrylic), and glass ionomer (which features sustained release fluoride). Each tooth-colored material has specific applications, but the most frequently used is composite resin.
Composite resin is the same natural-looking material used to repair cosmetic flaws such as chips, cracks, pits, and small gaps. Also, it keeps permanently bonded retainers in place after orthodontic correction or when the dentist wishes to strengthen mobile or weak teeth. Lasting ten years or more with good oral hygiene at home and with routine exams and cleanings at Harris Parkway Dental Care, composite resin fills a tooth and recreates its chewing surfaces and other areas as needed.
To place a tooth-colored filling, your Fort Worth family dentist will use locally-injected medication to numb your tooth and the area surrounding it. Then, he'll remove the damaged portions and apply a mild etching liquid. With composite resin fillings, the doctor removes only the decayed portions and leaves the healthy parts intact.
Next, Dr. McConnell will apply the color-matched resin to create layers, curing each one with a blue LED light. Finally, the dentist checks the bite to ensure a comfortable fit with the opposite arch of teeth.
At your next routine check-up with Dr. McConnell, ask him about today's innovative filling materials and procedures. Dentists love to educate their patients so they make good decisions about their dental care. If it's time to book your appointment, call Harris Parkway Dental Care in Fort Worth, TX, at (817) 423-2223.
For over a hundred years dental amalgam — a combination of silver, mercury, tin and other metals — has been an effective filling material for teeth damaged by decay. But it has one major drawback — its metallic appearance stands out in stark contrast to the natural color of teeth.
As an alternative, composite resin fillings can match the color, shape and texture of natural teeth. These materials and the techniques used to bond them are proving just as effective as and more aesthetically pleasing than dental amalgam.
Fillings help protect and preserve a decayed tooth. By first removing decayed tooth structure through drilling, the resulting void is filled with durable material that strengthens the tooth and provides it protection from further decay.
The ultimate goal for restoration is to return the tooth to as near normal form and function as possible. Dental amalgam serves well in terms of function, providing the tooth strength in the face of the daily biting forces it encounters. In contrast, composite resins excel in appearance, but haven’t always matched the durability of amalgam. They’re material construction has improved over time, though, as well as the techniques used to bond them to teeth.
Most of these bonding techniques incorporate layering. The first step is to seal the dentin (the porous, living tissue just below the enamel); we then build up the composite material layer by layer within the tooth using special bonding adhesive and curing lights. In some cases where a large volume of tooth structure must be replaced, the restoration is first formed on the tooth and then removed for curing before being cemented into the tooth or a separate restoration is formed by a dental lab.
The end result is a tooth which both looks and functions like a fully intact tooth. Though care must be taken not to subject composite resin restorations to undue forces (no cracking open nutshells, for example), your new filling should continue to serve you and look great for a long time to come.
If you would like more information on metal-free restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Natural Beauty of Tooth Colored Fillings.”