Cavities Are A Common Problem
Cavities are the result of tooth decay. The term “tooth decay” refers to the softening of the hard enamel shell that protects teeth. Bacteria in the mouth produce acids that soften, weaken and decay the enamel. Decay happens over time, ultimately resulting in a pit or cavity. Bacteria can then enter the resulting cavity to get deeper into the tooth.
Also known as dental caries, cavities are among the most common health problems in the world. About 92 percent of adults 20 to 64 with teeth have cavities. The most common causes of tooth decay and cavities include sugary and starchy foods that stick to teeth, frequent snacking and receding gum lines.
How Can Fillings Help Me?
Fillings are the main option for treating tooth decay that has progressed beyond the early stages. Fillings prevent further decay by closing off spaces in the affected tooth so that bacteria can no longer enter.
Dentists usually recommend fillings when cavities have progressed beyond the point of eroding tooth enamel and have started creating holes in teeth.
What Can I Expect?
After administering local anesthesia to numb the tooth, our dentist will remove the decayed material from your teeth. Next, our dentist will shape the space to accommodate the filling. Dentists make fillings from a variety of materials, such as porcelain tooth-colored composite resins or dental amalgam, which is a combination of materials. Each type of filling material may require special steps, such as etching the teeth with an acid gel to help composite materials hold onto tooth enamel or the use of a special light to harden resin fillings.
After the filling, you may experience sensitivity to air, pressure, sweet foods or cold temperature. This sensitivity wears off within two weeks in most cases
How Do I Get Started?
Dr. Haggerty is glad to share more information about cavities and fillings, including how to avoid cavities and take care of your fillings.