Dentistry is becoming progressively better as computers allow for 3D mapping of patients’ mouths and newer materials become available for replacing dental fillings. In decades past, it was very common for people to require full or partial sets of dentures in later years of life. Foods such as bleached sugar and acidic drinks like soda, juices, and even regular spring water, can soften and break down the enamel of teeth. Brushing overly aggressively or failing to brush and floss properly can lead to the build-up of cavity-causing bacteria. These bacteria and acids increase your risk for cavities. Aside from diet and hygiene habits, genetics also play a critical factor in determining how much trauma your teeth will endure. Here, at Midway Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we have the tools and training to keep your smile shining for a lifetime.
Replacing Dental Fillings
Dental fillings aren’t designed to last forever. Even if the materials are stronger than your teeth, the bonds that hold everything together can begin to loosen and deteriorate over time from pressure and acid erosion. Cavities and decay form when bacteria interacts with starches and sugars left over from eating and form acids that soften the thin enamel coating.
When it is time to replace a filling, our highly regarded Alpharetta dentists drill out the decaying portion of the tooth to remove bacteria and decay, and use various materials to seal the tooth surface. When fillings come loose or if you’re experiencing chronic oral infections, it is time to contact our Alpharetta dental office at Midway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.
Dental Fillings: The Materials
There is a general trend of aversion towards the amalgam fillings that have historically been used to restore teeth. Although some groups argue the low-level mercury emissions of amalgam can lead to various diseases, the American Dental Association and others rebut this presumption. The filling material is inexpensive and notably durable. However, It can blacken over time and requires more invasive drilling and more extensive removal of tooth structure to place the fillings.
This material is tooth-colored and essentially glued to the exposed surfaces of the tooth. It is more difficult to set this material properly because the surfaces need to be incredibly dry to help it bond. These filings are nearly invisible when applied. Dentists use a UV light to harden and cure the material when this type of filling material is applied. Cosmetic dentistry replaces ugly amalgam with composite resins and uses new material upon deterioration.
This tooth-colored alternative simply doesn’t have the smooth surface of composite resin. It is therefore only used on baby teeth and some chewing surfaces of permanent back teeth.
Gold and Porcelain
When it comes to durability, these materials offer exceptional strength. Porcelain can be color-matched to your teeth. Porcelain feels a lot like the actual tooth surface and therefore may be used for crowns that completely cover severely damaged teeth. Gold is an excellent option, but most people do not want the gold to be visible when they smile.
Temporary fillings are often used as a quick remedy for exposed sensitive teeth and to quickly seal exposed surfaces when there is insufficient time for replacing dental fillings. These materials may be softer and easier to apply but also more likely to fall out and come loose. Care should be taken to avoid using the teeth that have temporary fillings since chewing food can dislodge the filling material. Most temporary filling materials are mixed with clove oil to reduce pain.
Contact us if you have more questions or would like to schedule a consultation in our office.