Composite Fillings Huntersville, NC
At Lake Norman Dentistry, our dentists use composite fillings as a treatment method for tooth decay. If you live in Huntersville, NC, or the surrounding area and are looking for a natural-looking restoration, we encourage you to call our office at (704) 895-3858 and schedule an appointment. Our team has the necessary experience with placing tooth-colored fillings and can work to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the procedure. Composite fillings are one of our most used treatments, since it’s typically placed after removing tooth decay (common cavities). If you have amalgam fillings now, we can even replace them with composite ones. To learn more, call and schedule a dental examination.
Protecting Your Smile From Cavities
All patients, regardless of age, are susceptible to cavities. A cavity is a hollow space that develops in your tooth due to poor dental hygiene. Your mouth has a unique microbiome filled with naturally occurring bacteria that help break down your food, move nutrients to the rest of your body via the bloodstream, and protect your body from harm. However, when these naturally occurring bacteria are allowed to multiply to unsafe levels, they can wreak havoc on your oral health. Things can become unbalanced due to food sitting in your mouth too long or an increase of sugar or carbs (which the bacteria will feed on).
Without proper dental care such as brushing twice a day, flossing before bed, and rinsing after meals, the bacteria can form a sticky, film-like substance called plaque. They form on the surface of teeth but can be removed with consistent home care. However, if not removed, the plaque will harden into tartar (calculus) which can only be removed with professional dental tools. For patients who avoid the dentist, especially those who suffer from dental anxiety, this can be incredibly problematic.
The enamel serves as a hard, protective layer for your teeth. When plaque and tartar eat through that layer, tooth decay sets in, and can cause cavities to form. Some cavities don’t hurt, it’s imperative to schedule regular dental checkups so that your dentist can intervene. Without professional treatment, cavities will grow worse and can lead to tooth loss, periodontal disease, and more which is why Dr. Guice recommends composite fillings.
How Dental Fillings Prevent Cavities
A dental filling is used to fill in tooth cavities to restore it to full strength and prevent further decay. Dental fillings are a quick, simple, and effective way to prevent bacteria from spreading to your tooth’s roots and gums.
At Lake Norman Dentistry, we place fillings on a frequent basis, but in order for this type of restoration to work, you need to have a certain amount of healthy tooth structure remaining. That’s why it’s essential to get a cavity treated as soon as possible. If you are missing too much of the tooth's structure, a dental crown may be a better solution.
Dental fillings can be made out of a variety of materials. Traditionally, amalgam (silver) fillings have been used to treat cavities. At Lake Norman Dentistry, we use composite (tooth-colored) fillings to restore your tooth structure to full function.
Silver vs. Tooth-Colored Filling: What You Should Know
Amalgam (silver) fillings are incredibly durable, take less time to place, and can typically last upwards of 15 years before needing to be replaced. However, they don’t bond to the natural tooth so well, which means more of your tooth structure must be removed to place them. Since they are susceptible to expanding and contracting due to hot and cold temperatures, they can occasionally create cracks in the tooth.
Despite the name, these fillings are typically not silver, but rather, a metal alloy that includes several materials — with mercury among them. While the FDA has concluded that mercury fillings are relatively safe for the general public, certain groups of people may be more susceptible to the negative effects associated with mercury. For patients who want a healthier way to fill their cavities or who wish to replace their existing silver fillings, composite fillings can be used.
Composite (tooth-colored) fillings function in the same way amalgam ones do and they are just as effective in restoring teeth. Natural-looking fillings typically consist of resin, ceramic, plastic, or glass ionomer. Our composite fillings consist of resin or plastic material and are matched to the shade of your natural teeth, while providing protection against decay. The biggest advantage of composite over amalgam fillings is that composite fillings do not stand out. They are resistant to temperature changes and bond directly to the tooth, so more of your natural tooth structure is preserved during placement. Fillings can deteriorate and wear down just like normal teeth and depending on the location of your cavity, your composite filling can last between 5 to 10 years. This makes it important to practice good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and rinsing after meals paired with regularly-scheduled dental check-ups.
Placing Your Dental Filling
Before getting started, Dr. Guice will conduct a thorough examination of your oral health. Depending on the severity of your cavity, he may recommend a dental filling to restore your tooth to full function.
Dental fillings are an affordable and durable restoration that will look similar to a natural tooth.At Lake Norman Dentistry, you can trust that we’ll complete your dental filling procedure in a way that is comfortable, effective, and fast. In some situations, depending on the patient and the position of where the filling will go, we can complete a filling in 30 minutes.
Depending on the severity of your cavity, Dr. Guice may use a local anesthetic to ensure a pain-free experience before completing a thorough cleaning, where he’ll remove the decayed portion of your tooth.Next, we’ll place the composite resin material on your tooth before shaping and polishing it. The shape needs to be just right so your bite will fit together correctly. Dental fillings can be completed within one appointment and there is no downtime following the procedure.
Caring For Your Dental Filling
It can take a couple of days to get used to eating on the tooth. Thus, while it will not be particularly uncomfortable, you may have a day or two where you feel as though you are adjusting. You can care for your fillings just like you do your natural teeth. You need to brush at least twice a day, rinse after meals, and floss at least once a day—preferably after meals.
We recommend using fluoride toothpaste, since this can help to further strengthen your teeth and prevent further decay. In some cases, we may even recommend a fluoride treatment in our dental office.
You should also be careful to avoid doing anything that could damage your teeth and wear a mouthguard if applicable. Keep in mind that a filling is there to restore your tooth structure both in appearance and functionality. This means we are not trying to restrict your activities or even what you can eat. Instead, we place fillings to ensure your life is not interrupted and you can return to your normal daily activities quickly.
Check out what others are saying about our composite fillings on Yelp: Composite Fillings Huntersville
Questions Answered on This Page
People Also Ask
Definition of Dental Terminology
- Cosmetic Dentistry
- Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance (though not necessarily the function) of a person’s teeth, gums and/or bite.
- Tooth decay is when the enamel of the tooth begins to decay and cause erosion from plaque and tartar on the teeth.
- Dental Caries
- Dental caries is also known as cavities and result from a lack of proper oral hygiene leaving plaque that forms tiny holes in the teeth.
- Dental Checkup
- A dental checkup is an appointment that involves cleaning the teeth, identifying any signs of infection and removing said signs of infection at least once every six months in the office.
- Dental Filling
- A dental filling involves restoring the structure of the tooth by using metal, alloy, porcelain or plastic to fill the tooth.
- Dental Prophylaxis
- A dental prophylaxis is a professional and detailed cleaning that involves the removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the teeth.
- Dental Sealants
- Dental sealants contain a resinous material that we apply to the chewing surfaces of the posterior teeth to prevent dental caries.
- A dentist, also known as a dental surgeon, is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity.
- Gingivitis is the inflammation of gum tissue that results from plaque, other infections in the mouth and poor oral hygiene.
- Preventive Dentistry
- Preventive dentistry is the dentistry that focuses on maintaining oral health in order to prevent the spread of plaque, the formation of tartar and infections in the mouth.
- Tartar forms when plaque builds up on the surface of the teeth and calcifies into a hard surface that is much more difficult to remove and will require professional treatment.
- Tooth Enamel
- Tooth enamel is the protective visible outer surface of a tooth that contains the dentin and dental pulp.
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