Cavities are an extremely common dental issue that your Melbourne, Florida dentist, Dr. Maryam Brazdo, can fill and correct with an artistic touch. Using only tooth-colored restorative material, she can remove decay and sensitivity without altering the natural look of the tooth.
What are Cavities?
Cavities are the result of tooth decay that is caused by harmful bacteria on the teeth. There are millions of bacteria that make up the oral microbiome, some of these bacteria are beneficial and aid in the digestion of our food, and other types of bacteria are harmful and need to be removed with a daily oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing. If harmful bacteria remains on the teeth it can harden into plaque, and eventually tarter. This sugar-eating, acid-secreting bacterium eventually erodes the enamel and dentin of a tooth. If not treated, cavities can decay all the way down to the extremely sensitive, nerve-filled pulp of the tooth and cause extreme pain.
Do I Have A Cavity?
You may suspect you have a cavity if you experience pain and sensitivity in your teeth when you consume hot, cold, sugary, and even acidic foods and beverages. Even cool air can irritate a particularly severe cavity. During your appointment, your Melbourne, Florida dentist, Dr. Brazdo, will examine your teeth for cavities using both her experienced eye, and 3D digital X-ray image. If she detects a cavity, your dentist will suggest filling the cavity before the decay progresses into a more serious issue that will necessitate the use of a much more invasive procedure like a root canal, or a tooth extraction.
How do Fillings Work?
Fillings are an extremely common procedure that Dr. Brazdo has perfected over the years. At this Melbourne, Florida dental practice, we use only tooth-colored fillings to correct decay for its superior quality and predictability. Upon detecting decay, your dentist will only need to remove the decayed portion of the tooth. Unlike silver amalgam fillings of the past, composite bonded, tooth-colored fillings do not require the removal of healthy tooth tissue. Dr. Brazdo will fill the cavity and shine a specialized light to bond the filling to the tooth. This type of filling is reliable, predictable, and most importantly a non-invasive procedure that can be performed in one visit. This high-quality, bonded material not only flawlessly blends into the natural tooth, it is resistant to cracking, loosening, and fracture. Further it will cause no harm to your natural tooth.
What is the Process for Filling a Tooth?
First, your tooth and surrounding gum tissue will be numbed using a local anesthetic. The drug temporarily cuts off communication between your tooth and your brain so you will feel no pain. When your mouth is numb, the decayed portion of your tooth will be removed using a high-speed handpiece. After the damaged portion has been removed, the resulting space will be filled with composite material that closely matches the color of your tooth. Here are the steps that will be followed:
An acidic, blue gel will be applied to the prepared tooth to ensure the composite resin bonds strongly with your tooth.
The acid is rinsed away and the tooth is dried.
A small amount of priming and bonding agent is brushed onto the prepared tooth. This step kills bacteria and ensures a strong bond between your tooth and the filling.
The composite resin is placed inside your prepared tooth. It may be squirted into place using a special instrument or put in place with a metal tool.
The composite will be smoothed and air bubbles removed using the high speed hand piece.
A blue light is applied to the filling. The light cures and hardens the filling. Depending on the size and location of your cavity, the light may be used more than once.
The filling will be shaped so it's flush with your tooth.
A bite test using carbon paper is conducted to ensure your teeth fit together comfortably. If necessary, Dr Brazdo will file down and smooth the filling so your teeth fit together properly.
What's Recovery Like?
After you get a filling, you may feel a little sensitivity for a few days. It should alleviate quickly. However, if you experience pain or sensitivity when you bite down, your filling may need an adjustment. Call Dr. Brazdo's office for an appointment. You won't need to be numbed again since it's the filling and not your tooth that needs attention.
How Should I Care for My Composite Filling?
Your composite filling doesn't require any specialized care. Continue to brush and floss daily to prevent additional tooth decay. Your composite filling may stain easier than your natural teeth if you drink a lot of tea, coffee or red wine. If you're concerned about staining, speak to Dr. Brazdo. She can apply a clear plastic coating that will prevent the composite from staining.
Can Fillings be Prevented?
Good oral hygiene and regular dental check ups will curb cavities. Along with brushing for two minutes twice a day, prevent cavities by:
Limiting snacks between meals to reduce acid in your mouth and give your teeth time to repair themselves.
Using a toothpaste with fluoride.
Eating candy, cookies, ice cream and other high sugar foods in moderation.
Avoiding fruit juice, soda and other high-sugar drinks.
Refraining from eating after you brush your teeth at night. Saliva flow decreases while you sleep, so your teeth are less able to repair themselves from an acid attack during the overnight hours.