These holes in your mouth are OK — as long as you remember to brush your teeth!
Holes are great in donuts, but not in your teeth. Where there are holes there is decay and where there is decay there is a cavity — that dreaded word which every dental patient hates to hear. Our Placerville dentists also refer to them as caries, but it all means one thing — there’s a hole in your tooth and a filling is needed.
Ignoring a cavity, putting off a filling, “wishing away decay” – all lead to even worse problems, namely root canal or even extraction. So, procrastinate about cleaning the garage or painting the house, but get that cavity fixed before it gets worse!
Will It Hurt?
Modern advancements in pain management mean that getting your filling is going to be a different experience from procedures you had in the past. We cater to cowards and cowboys and everyone in between. You can experience the usual noises with the numbing power of novocaine, or go for full out sedation with sleep dentistry. This is a relatively simple dental procedure that, one way or the other, will put a smile back on your face.
Will It Show?
The great news is that composite fillings are appropriate in most circumstances and have the benefit of matching the color of your teeth. Ionomer fillings are another option, a nearly invisible filling fix that can be applied to repair non-chewing surfaces. The formerly common silver mercury amalgam fillings are no longer considered a good option by the Placerville Dental Group. Come into our office and our Placerville dentists are ready to discuss the best options for your specific cavity.
Composite fillings are made of a glass or quartz material mixed with a tooth-colored resin. This strong composite material bonds to your tooth, filling the cavity and preventing more decay. Using composites means a cavity needs less tooth preparation and that means less drilling. Because of these benefits, the Placerville Dental Group uses composite fillings whenever possible.
Ionomer fillings are clear and tooth-colored, created by mixing acrylics with glass powders. For patients with tooth decay problems, ionomers are available that release fluoride, protecting your tooth over time. Cosmetically speaking, ionomers are less esthetic than composite, but the right option in some circumstances and for some clients.
What About Amalgam Fillings?
Dental amalgam is an alloy combining silver, tin, copper, mercury and other metals. This material was used for many years, but is normally not used in modern dentistry, due to its mercury content and long-term dental health issues. Talk to the team at the Placerville Dental Group if you have any questions about replacing your old amalgam fillings with the more modern options of composite and ionomers.
In the end, the only hole we want in your mouth is from a donut shop. So let’s get those fillings filled! (Just remember to brush your teeth after eating that donut hole!)
Before and After Amalgam Replacement
On the left, mercury alloy fillings with recurrent decay. Notice, the margins along the mercury alloys are delaminating from the tooth and the tooth is darkening. Composite resin, on the right, strongly and safely restores the teeth without the use of heavy metals.