Dental decay is one of the most common preventable childhood diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, about one out of every five children under age five has an untreated cavity. Since baby teeth will fall out eventually, fillings may not seem necessary, but baby teeth are essential to normal speech and dental development and should be treated to avoid pain, infection, and extraction.
Dental Decay Impacts Every Age Group
While we commonly think of tooth decay as a kids’ disease, it impacts every age group. Seniors are particularly prone to developing tooth decay because of reduced dexterity and poor oral health. No matter your age, we are here to help you and every member of your family stay healthy and have comfortable smiles.
Carbs Are to Blame Along with Sugar
Sugar is often touted as public enemy number one when it comes to tooth decay and cavities. Processed carbohydrates also play a role in developing cavities, as do sugary or acidic drinks like energy drinks and fruit juice.
Brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing between the teeth, and fluoride varnish in our Swansboro dental office also contributes to good oral health.
For patients with a high risk of dental decay, sealants will also create a barrier between harmful bacteria and the deep grooves of the teeth where decay often starts.
Benefits of Amalgam Fillings
In spite of the many rumors surrounding amalgam (silver) fillings, studies show that they are completely safe and approved by the American Dental Association for treating dental caries.
Amalgam fillings are still a popular and safe choice in many instances, especially for posterior teeth. Since they are made of metal, they are durable and can replace larger portions of decay than composite fillings. Silver fillings can successfully absorb a more significant load caused by chewing without fracturing.
Sometimes, amalgam is the practical choice for children and adults with active salivary glands.
Tooth-Colored Fillings to Repair Teeth
Until recent decades, silver amalgam fillings were standard at nearly any dental office, especially for posterior (back) teeth. Today, however, we believe in choices. Tooth-colored fillings are used to restore the structure of teeth after removing decay.
White Fillings Will Not Whiten
If your teeth are stained and you wish to whiten your smile, your filling will not change color. We may need to replace your filling or discuss whitening prior to fillings in order to maintain the harmony of your smile. If you prefer whiter teeth, we can recommend teeth whitening systems in our Swansboro dental office to brighten your smile before having a filling placed.
How Fillings Work
Before removing decay, our dentists will help you decide if any anesthetic is necessary. For particularly superficial fillings, you may not even need it. Of course, if you feel a bit nervous, we will always numb your tooth.
After removing decay and bacteria, our dentists will apply either amalgam or composite to the tooth, filling the cavity. Our dentists will shape the filling to fit with the bite and feel smooth to the tongue.
Amalgam will harden rapidly on its own while we cure composite fillings with a special light.
Contact Us to Learn More
If you suspect you have tooth decay, seeking treatment now can help you avoid root canals and infection in the future. Get in touch with Swansboro Family Dentistry to learn more about fillings.