If you have one or more dental cavities, fillings can help restore damaged teeth and prevent additional decay. For residents in and around Glendale, California, Vahe Boghossian, DMD, and Avedis Boghossian, DDS, of Boghossian Dental are a great resource for fillings, including tooth-colored options that blend with your smile. Learn more during a one-on-one consultation, which you can book in just moments online or over the phone.
Dental cavities are a form of permanent tooth decay that creates small openings in your tooth tissue. The best way to understand cavities is to think about the structure of your teeth and the environment within your mouth.
The outermost layer of your teeth is a thin shell of hard tissue called enamel. Just beneath is another layer of hard tissue called dentin.
Your mouth is filled with a mix of “good” and “bad” bacteria, and the balance changes throughout the course of any given day. The bacteria feed on the sugars present in food, and the plaque that builds on your teeth when you don’t brush and floss thoroughly.
Plaque is acidic and slowly removes minerals in your tooth enamel, weakening it and creating tiny openings. Those openings allow bacteria and acid to extend into the deeper layers of tooth tissue, which breaks down more rapidly than enamel.
The process continues to invade the deeper layers of tooth tissue until it eventually reaches the innermost pulp chamber where the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels are located.
Dental fillings work to close and seal the small openings created by cavities. When caught in the earliest stages, a cavity can be easily filled, restoring a smooth tooth surface and preventing additional decay.
Fillings can also be helpful for larger cavities, preventing or delaying the need for a root canal or extraction. While fillings are often placed on the flat biting surfaces of your molars, they can also be used to fill cavities in other areas of a decayed tooth.
You have choices when it comes to the material used for your fillings. Amalgam metal fillings are strong and durable, but they create a noticeable area of dark discoloration.
For many people, composite resin fillings are the preferred option. That material can be shaded to match the exact color of your teeth and is also very durable.
To place a filling, your dentist removes the decayed tooth tissue and thoroughly cleanses the area. The filling material is applied and allowed to harden, which creates the seal between your mouth and the inner layers of tooth tissue.
All fillings will eventually need to be replaced. If you have older metal fillings, replacing them with tooth-colored fillings is a great way to improve the appearance of your smile.
The best way to prevent tooth decay is to establish a solid dental hygiene routine. Regular brushing and flossing prevent plaque from building up and hardening into tartar.
Scheduling routine dental exams is also essential. Your dental team can check your teeth for signs of decay, allowing for intervention that can reverse early enamel damage or prevent decay from worsening. You can also prevent cavities by avoiding foods that have lots of sugar or starches and replacing sugary beverages with water.
If you’d like to learn more about your dental fillings options, call the office to check appointment availability. Online scheduling is also available and is fast and easy.