It is an unfortunate fact that nearly 29 percent of the population currently has untreated tooth decay. While this problem is extremely prevalent, it is also quite treatable when it is taken care of immediately. Tooth-colored fillings can be used to quickly improve the appearance of a patient’s smile as well as prevent the spread of tooth decay. This particular type of filling is an excellent alternative for kids who would like to avoid the many disadvantages of traditional metal fillings.
The Prevalence of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is so common that almost everyone will be forced to deal with it at least once in their lifetime. Even with world-class preventative care, there is still no guarantee that you will be able to avoid this issue forever. Cavities are the result of various forms of bacteria within an individual’s mouth. While some of the bacteria are actually healthy and help us digest the foods we eat, other cells can attack our teeth and gums when they are not kept at bay.
Over time, bacteria will form a substance known as bacterial plaque. Plaque feeds off of everything we ingest and eventually attacks our teeth. The acids that it uses to attack our teeth is what causes tooth decay. Dental caries can sometimes be avoided with impeccable oral hygiene habits, but patients will need professional help once their teeth are damaged.
What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings?
The vast majority of fillings are made with a metal amalgam that includes silver, tin and copper. Amalgam fillings have been used for over 150 years and have helped countless patients treat their dental caries, but they have a number of glaring disadvantages. Not only are they a much different color than our natural teeth, but they can also produce a “sharp” sensation when they come into contact with metal forks and spoons
Tooth-colored fillings are made from a plastic resin with a silica filler. These particular materials were chosen because they can be stained to match the exact color of a patient’s teeth. They are also incredibly resistant to bacteria.
Treating Dental Caries
Depending on the extent of damage that has taken place, treating dental caries can typically be carried out in one or two trips to the dentist. After thoroughly inspecting the patient’s mouth, the dentist will then remove the areas of the tooth that have been affected. The next step is to clean the tooth and begin the process of applying the resin. Finally, the dentist can clean and polish the entire tooth as the resin hardens.
On average, composite fillings last for around ten years as long as the patient continues to take care of them. This includes brushing, flossing and scheduling regular trips to our office. Patients should also refrain from eating any hard foods that could crack the filling or their teeth.
Treating Your Child’s Tooth Decay
Tooth-colored fillings offer many benefits. During a dental appointment at Ashburn Children’s Dentistry in Ashburn, you can learn more about how these fillings can help your child to smile brighter. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your little one.