Stopping Tooth Decay with Dental Fillings in the San Fernando Valley for over 25 Years
You know the feeling. You start to notice tooth sensitivity to hot or cold beverages, or pain when you bite down or chew your food. Eventually you find yourself with a toothache that won’t go away. You may even notice stains on the surface of the tooth, or even be able to actually see pits or holes. If you have experienced any of these symptoms of tooth decay, you are not alone. Dental caries, also known as cavities or tooth decay, is extremely common. In fact, more than 90% of the population have had tooth decay. Fillings are the most common treatment for cavities and are the most common dental procedure performed in the U.S. Read on to learn more about cavities and dental fillings, and contact Sterling Smile Dental in Northridge if you have been experiencing any tooth discomfort, or if you haven’t had a checkup recently.
What causes tooth decay, and how do fillings help?
Tooth decay is caused by the activity of bacteria from food particles that get stuck in the teeth. Brushing and flossing help remove food particles and any accompanying bacteria, but once bacteria get a foothold in a tooth, the decay process gets underway and starts to damage the tooth. When you get a filling, your dentist will remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and fill the cleaned-out cavity with the appropriate filling material. This way, the filling not only stops tooth decay and restores the tooth to health, but also prevents further decay by keeping out any new bacteria.
What are fillings made of?
There are actually a variety of different materials that may be used to fill a tooth. Different materials are suitable for different fillings depending upon a number of different factors, including whether the affected tooth is an incisor, canine, biscupid or molar; whether the filling will be visible and how you want it to look; how long the filling should last, the cost involved, how many visits may be necessary to complete the procedure; and your own personal preferences. Common filling materials include the following:
- Composite Resin
- Amalgam (an alloy of silver and other metals)
Are Fillings Better than Crowns?
These are actually two different types of procedures, and they are used for different purposes. A crown may be used to save a tooth that has been weakened by decay and protect it from breaking, but a crown does not stop or repair decay like a filling does. So, a crown is not an alternative to a filling, but it may be recommended to treat other aspects of a decayed tooth. Similarly, a root canal is another procedure used to treat a decayed tooth, but this procedure is only necessary when decay has reached the nerve portion of the tooth.
We began this article describing the symptoms of a cavity that may lead you to your dentist, but a better approach is to see your dentist for regular checkups. Your dentist can identify a cavity or the beginnings of tooth decay before any painful symptoms arise. Your dentist will examine the tooth at your regular cleaning appointments and can recommend a filling when necessary before bacteria and decay has caused too much damage to the tooth.
Stop Tooth Decay with Fillings from a Compassionate and Gentle Northridge Dentist
At Sterling Smile Dental, we take great care to monitor your teeth for signs of decay and take appropriate measures to stop and prevent decay as soon as it starts. When fillings are needed, you can rest assured knowing that your cavity will be filled expertly and professionally with your comfort being a primary concern. Keep your teeth as healthy and your smile as beautiful as they can be. Call Sterling Smile Dental in Northridge at 818-885-7117, and make an appointment to see one of the San Fernando Valley’s most experienced and caring dentists.