Tooth decay may be easily preventable, but it remains one of the most common health issues among children and adults alike. It’s not surprising, then, that most people require at least one filling in their lifetime. The general dentists at Carnegie Hill Dental Group in New York City are experts at finding and treating tooth decay, and they offer white, composite-resin fillings that blend in with your natural enamel. To learn more, call their Upper East Side office or schedule an appointment online today.
Tooth decay usually gets its start when too much plaque is allowed to build upon or between your teeth. Plaque is a thin, sticky film that forms on your enamel when sugar and carbohydrate molecules come in contact with the bacteria that’s naturally present in your mouth.
If you don’t brush thoroughly or as often as you should, the lingering plaque can trap bacteria against your enamel, causing spots of decay known as cavities.
You probably know that insufficient oral health habits and eating a diet that’s rich in sugar or carbohydrates are two of the major risk factors for cavities, but even if you brush twice a day, floss regularly, and limit your sugar intake, you may still be prone to developing cavities if your enamel is naturally thinner or weaker than normal.
Although it’s possible to live with hidden tooth decay for quite some time, the longer a cavity remains untreated, the more likely it is to progress into a much bigger problem. The same buildup of plaque and bacteria that causes cavities can also aggravate and inflame your gums, setting the stage for periodontal disease.
Left alone, a single spot of decay can spread and affect multiple teeth; it can also grow toward the center of your tooth and infect its soft pulpy tissues. Teeth with untreated decay may eventually become candidates for a root canal or even an extraction if they’re so infected or decayed that they can’t be saved.
Having regular dental cleanings and exams is one of the best ways to both prevent cavities and catch them early on when they’re small and easier to treat.
After a spot of decay is removed from your tooth, a filling helps restore normal shape and function. Although there are several filling materials available, ranging from gold and silver to porcelain and amalgam, white fillings are among the most popular.
White fillings, also known as composite or tooth-colored fillings, are made from a plastic and ceramic compound that’s custom tinted to match the exact color of your teeth.
Because they blend in with your natural teeth, white fillings are the most aesthetically pleasing solution when treating cavities; composite fillings also bond more easily to the surface of your tooth, making them strong and durable.
And unlike amalgam fillings, which are made from a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, and copper, white fillings are completely nonmetallic.
To learn more about the benefits of white fillings, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.