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 life.
What does this mean for you?
For one thing, it means that routine check-ups and dental cleanings are an absolute necessity! Cleanings allow us to eliminate the plaque and tartar that contribute to cavities, and regular check-ups will enable 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, we can fill most cavities with a tooth-colored composite material that blends right in with the natural shade of your tooth enamel, and this is a very common dental procedure. This means that once Dr. King fills your cavity, even you will have a hard time finding the filling!
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. However, it’s nearly impossible for you to remove all of it with home care tools, which is why routine cleanings at our Huntsville dental office are so important.
Most cavities will require a filling. At our dental 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 we remove the damaged area of your tooth, 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 he fills the cavity, Dr. King will then gently remove any excess filling material and then polish the filling so that it blends in flawlessly with the enamel.
Besides being virtually invisible, tooth-colored fillings in Huntsville offer many other advantages for patients.
Another excellent advantage that tooth-colored fillings have over metal fillings is that composite resin material doesn't react to temperature like metal does. Your mouth is experiencing a wide range of constant temperature changes throughout the day as you enjoy different foods as well as hot and cold drinks. Because metal expands and contracts due to temperature changes in your mouth, it can cause your metal filling to pull away from your tooth, resulting in bacteria and acids entering your tooth and causing discoloration and even decay and damage again.
Due to the instability of metal fillings, many patients are opting to have them replaced with tooth-colored composite resin fillings for added durability. If this procedure would be something that interests you, we encourage you to contact Dr. King and schedule an evaluation to learn more about what replacing your metal fillings entails.
Are you happy with the appearance of your smile? Have you thought about making cosmetic changes to your teeth?
Chipped teeth, tooth stains or discoloration, gaps or spaces between teeth, and size or shape discrepancies are all cosmetic problems that a procedure called dental bonding can fix. By adding composite resin to your tooth, Dr. King can eliminate many of these aesthetic concerns without breaking your budget since dental bonding in Huntsville tends to be less expensive than other cosmetic dental procedures. Better yet, depending on your specific needs, dental bonding is a procedure that can often be completed during just one appointment so you can enjoy your new smile faster.
If dental bonding in Huntsville is of interest to you, contact King Dental today at (256) 880-1884 to schedule an evaluation with Dr. King so you can learn more about the procedure.
Believe it or not, there are many steps you can take at home to avoid tooth cavities, such as:
Do you grind your teeth at night? Teeth clenching or grinding (bruxism) can wear down enamel and cause your teeth to be more susceptible to issues like cavities. Dr. King can help with chronic teeth grinding by creating a comfortable mouthguard that you can wear while you sleep that will protect your teeth from the damage caused by bruxism.
Contact King Dental today at (256) 880-1884 if you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from bruxism. Dr. King can detect the telltale signs during a simple tooth examination and recommend the right mouthguard to protect your smile.
Are you due for a routine dental check-up? This is a great time for Dr. King to evaluate your teeth for problems like clenching, grinding, or tooth decay.
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 only want to help you improve your dental health.