Cavities and Fillings
When a cavity is identified the treatment consists of removing the decay and replacing the damaged area with an artificial filling. Comfort Dental offers all types of fillings. Common types of fillings are amalgam, composite resin, porcelain, and gold. Composite resin and porcelain can be made to match the color of a patient’s natural teeth and are thus used more frequently when aesthetics are a concern. Composite restorations are not as strong as dental amalgam and gold; some dentists consider the latter as the only advisable restoration for posterior areas where chewing forces are great. When the decay is too extensive, there may not be enough tooth structure remaining to allow a restorative material to be placed within the tooth. Thus, a crown may be needed.
The Science: Tooth decay is caused by specific types of acid-producing bacteria that cause damage in the presence of fermentable carbohydrates such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose. The mineral content of teeth is sensitive to increases in acidity from the production of lactic acid. Specifically, a tooth (which is primarily mineral in content) is in a constant state of back-and-forth demineralization and remineralization between the tooth and surrounding saliva.
Personal hygiene care consists of proper brushing and flossing daily. The purpose of oral hygiene is to minimize any etiologic agents of disease in the mouth. Proper brushing and flossing removes and prevents the formation of plaque. When used correctly, dental floss removes plaque from areas and maintains healthy teeth and gums.
The use of dental sealants is also another means of prevention. A sealant is a thin plastic-like coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars. This coating prevents food being trapped inside pits and fissures in grooves under chewing pressure so resident plaque bacteria are deprived of their function.
Preventing tooth decay and cavities should be your #1 priority in maintaining dental health!