Many people do not realize that tooth decay is one of the most common diseases in the world, and nearly everyone will experience at least one cavity in their lifetime. Preventative measures such as brushing multiple times a day and scheduling dental appointments will reduce one’s risk of developing cavities, but that is not always enough. These are just a few of the reasons that everyone should know some of the signs of tooth decay and how porcelain fillings could help them restore the appearance and health of their teeth.
Signs You Might Have Tooth Decay
Tooth decay takes place when food debris is not regularly removed from the grooves of one’s teeth. Over time, this debris will eventually create acids that attack the outer layer of the teeth and cause irreversible damage to the enamel. The most obvious sign of decay is a visible pit in your tooth, but patients might also experience toothaches, tooth sensitivity, a discolored smile, or pain when they bite down. If this damage is not treated immediately, the acids can spread to other teeth or attack the interior of the tooth. One simple way to treat this condition and prevent the damage from spreading is to protect the area with fillings.
The Purpose of a Filling
Modern metal fillings have been used for over 100 years and are an excellent way to stop tooth decay and prevent further damage. Traditional fillings are comprised of a metal amalgam that is resistant to bacteria and adheres quite well to the surface of a tooth. Unfortunately, these fillings come with some distinct disadvantages as well. One major issue that many patients have with metal fillings is the fact that their appearance is a stark contrast from white teeth.
Porcelain was originally used for caps and crowns, but dentists are now using this material to cover and fill the damage caused by smaller cavities. The primary benefit of porcelain fillings is the fact that they can be stained to match the color of the tooth that they are set in. Once they have hardened, patients rarely notice them. They are also incredibly resistant to staining and do not have the same reaction to metal objects.
The Process of Getting Porcelain Fillings
Getting porcelain fillings takes just one or two trips to the dentist and is completely painless. Our dentist begins by removing the damaged area of the tooth and taking an impression of the hole. The impressions are then used to create a custom porcelain filling that matches the tone and color of the tooth that it will be placed in. During the second visit, the filling will be cemented to the tooth with a powerful adhesive. When cared for properly, your new fillings can last for seven years or longer. Contact the office of Dr. Jamie Elizabeth Sands today to schedule an appointment and improve your smile.