Composite or Amalgam Fillings
Oregon City, OR
Brushing and flossing are two very important daily habits essential for the prevention of dental issues including tooth decay and cavities. In addition to this daily care, it is also recommended that you have routine dental cleanings and exams. Skipping out on oral care, even just once in a while, can significantly increase your risk for developing cavities. If you are faced with a cavity, Beavercreek Dental can help.
What is a Cavity?
A cavity is a small pit that forms in the surface of your tooth as a result of tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when the acids produced by plaque and bacteria, as well as the acids from the different foods and drinks you consume, sit too long on the surfaces of your teeth. The acids eat away at the enamel, causing weak spots to form. These weak spots eventually become cavities. Without treatment, cavities continue to grow larger, compromising the structural integrity of the affected tooth and your oral health. Once a cavity forms, it cannot be reversed. Instead, it needs to be treated with a filling.
Amalgam fillings are the traditional treatment for cavities. These fillings consist of a mixture of metals suspended in mercury. They have been in use for over 150 years and are well-known for their incredible strength. They can stand up to very strong chewing forces, which often makes them ideal for cavities in the back teeth.
While amalgam fillings are incredibly strong, they do have a few disadvantages. First, their color. Amalgam fillings are silver, which makes them stand out quite obviously from the rest of your natural tooth structure. The materials used for amalgam fillings also raise concerns. Some patients are allergic to metal. Others are concerned over the mercury content.
Placing amalgam fillings is a straightforward procedure that only takes one visit to complete. First, the tooth is cleaned, and the decay is drilled from the cavity. After the tooth has been dried, the amalgam material is placed inside the cavity. After smoothing the material, we cure, or dry, it and it provides you with immediate protection.
Composite fillings have been developed as an alternative to traditional amalgam fillings. These fillings use composite resin to treat cavities. Composite resin is made up of a mixture of fine glass, plastic, and other materials. One of the biggest advantages of composite fillings is that they are tooth colored. This makes them an ideal aesthetic treatment for cavities in the front teeth. The material blends in with the rest of your natural tooth structure, so no one will know it is there. While not as strong as amalgam, composite fillings can stand up to most normal daily use. They also provide metal and mercury free option to treat cavities in your teeth.
The process for placing composite fillings is similar to the process for placing amalgam fillings. First, the tooth is cleaned, and the decay is drilled out. Because composite resin bonds with your tooth, rather than simply filling in a space, less of your natural tooth structure needs to be drilled away. After removing the decay, an acid etch is used to create a rough texture. This is done to enhance the bond between the composite resin and your tooth. After the tooth is washed and dried, the material is placed in the cavity. The filling is cured, and finally, it is polished smooth.
When faced with a cavity, a filling is needed right away to restore and protect your oral health. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Beavercreek Dental at (503) 722-9184 today.