Few people escape the need for at least one filling throughout their lives. In fact, dental decay is the most common childhood disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
With preventive care and improved lifestyle choices, decay is largely preventable. In fact, dental decay became more widespread as sugar became less of a luxury item and more of a staple in the Western diet. The use of fluoridation in water municipalities has helped to combat increased decay but does not prevent it entirely.
Simply put, bacteria cause dental decay, and their favorite foods are starch and sugar. As they metabolize the particles of sugar and starch that remain in your mouth after eating, bacteria create an acidic environment in your mouth. Those acids begin to soften the protective coating (enamel) on your teeth. The acid eats away your enamel and can then enter the softer part of your tooth, called the dentin.
Once decay reaches your dentin, it can cause significant damage to your tooth and even pain as the decay moves closer to the nerve. If the cavity goes untreated, you are likely to lose your tooth. We look for decay though both visual inspection and digital X-rays at your regular dental exams. Digital X-rays are a safe and effective way to catch decay in its earliest stages, making it easier and less invasive to treat.
At Alliance Dental, we use tooth-colored fillings when we remove decay from your tooth because we believe dentistry can be both functional and beautiful! Using tooth-colored fillings prevents the darkening of your smile from amalgam fillings and allows us to closely match your filling to the natural shade of your teeth.
Once Dr. Spaska Malaric gently removes all decay from your tooth, she will clean the area, making sure it is free of bacteria. Next, she will choose a composite filling shade that closely matches your natural tooth color, so it blends in seamlessly and protects the aesthetics of your smile.
She will fill your tooth with the composite material and cure it, making a tight seal to keep out bacteria. Her expertise will ensure that your filling fits with your opposing and adjacent teeth perfectly so that when you chew, your bite is accurate. Finally, she will polish your restoration so that it looks natural and feels completely smooth and comfortable. With the proper care, your restoration can last many years.
In addition to filling cavities, composite material can also provide a cost-effective solution to making small cosmetic repairs to your teeth. We can use tooth-colored fillings to repair chips, gaps, and small imperfections on the surfaces of your teeth.
If you suspect you have a cavity, or if it's just time for your next routine dental exam, contact our Fort Myers dental office today at (239) 317-7461. We look forward to seeing your smile!