Fillings in Huntsville AL
We’ve come a long way in cavity prevention. Over the past few decades, we’ve managed to significantly decrease the number of cavities a person is likely to have in their lifetime. Unfortunately, however, we have yet to eliminate the problem entirely. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, just about every American will have a cavity at some point in their lives.
What does this mean for you?
For one thing, it means that routine check-ups and cleanings are an absolute necessity! Cleanings allow us to eliminate the plaque and tartar that contribute to cavities, and regular check-ups allow us to spot developing cavities in their earliest stages so we can treat them as soon as possible.
Over the years, we’ve come up with new methods of filling cavities as well. Today, most cavities can be filled with a tooth-colored composite that actually blends right in with the natural shade of your enamel, and this is a very common dental procedure. This means that once your cavity is filled, even you will have a hard time finding the filling!
Why Do We Get Cavities?
Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria. These bacteria are normal, and most of them are actually helpful. For instance, these bacteria help protect your mouth from other microbes that can cause problems.
The bacteria in your mouth feed on the same foods you do, and like many of us, they love sugary food. When you eat foods that are high in sugar and don’t brush right away, the sugary residue stays in your mouth and mixes with bacteria and other debris to form sticky plaque, which clings to your teeth. The bacteria in the plaque metabolize the sugar and create acid. Over time, the acid eats away at your enamel, forming a pit. This is a cavity. Without treatment, the decay spreads and can cause problems. Your tooth will eventually break and you may even lose it.
Brushing your teeth and flossing removes the residue on and between your teeth. It’s nearly impossible for you to remove all of it with home care tools, however, which is why routine cleanings at our Huntsville dental office are so important.
Most cavities will require a filling. At our office, we primarily use composite fillings. There are some occasions where a metal filling is warranted, and if we believe this to be true in your case, we’ll let you know. We like composite fillings because, in addition to blending in well with your enamel, they also allow us to remove less healthy tooth structure than metal fillings.
To place the fillings, Dr. King will begin by numbing the tooth (if necessary) and then carefully removing the damaged tooth structure. Once this is done, the composite material, which has a putty-like consistency, is applied to the cavity and cured in layers. This material actually bonds to the tooth structure, making your filling durable and stable. When the cavity is filled, Dr. King will gently remove any excess filling material and then polish the filling so that it blends in flawlessly with the enamel.
Call for a Check-Up
Are you due for a routine check-up? Give us a call so we can get you on the schedule. If it’s been a while, please don’t be embarrassed. We won’t judge – we just want to help you improve your dental health.