As the most prevalent and persistent disease that affects humans, tooth decay is one which dentists constantly fight. Cavities, or dental caries as the dental profession calls them, occur when a process of tooth decay eats away at the tooth’s outer surface (enamel) and begins affecting the interior of the tooth, causing pain and possibly an abscess (infection). Consequently, a cavity left untreated can rob you of your teeth, making restorative dentistry a certainty in your future.
By contacting Dr. Patti Swaintek-Lamb at Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville in New Jersey, you will learn the best plan of action for thwarting tooth decay and cavities. Taking fluoride treatments, maintaining good oral hygiene, eating a healthy diet and having regular dental exams are your best strategies for fighting tooth decay. During regular exams, our dentist can pinpoint a cavity before it starts to hurt, filling it before much of the tooth structure is damaged.
It’s commonly thought that cavities aren’t much of a problem in the developed world, but in reality, 60-90% of children and a majority of U.S. adults have dental caries.
Filling the Holes
Some individuals who frequent the dentist regularly present with small, tiny pits in the enamel – many of these are just cavities waiting to happen. Others spend years without dental care and present with what they feel is more like a pothole. Either way, both cases must be addressed by a dentist to prevent further damage.
When dentists catch the decay before it reaches the dentin, the enamel can usually repair itself, with the help of fluoride treatment. Several types of fillings can be used, but at Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville, only metal-free restorations are used. The three types of fillings used by today’s dentists include:
- Silver amalgam (combination of mercury, silver, copper, tin and occasionally zinc, palladium, or indium): Commonly used for molar teeth where strength is important.
- Gold fillings (inlays and onlays): More expensive than silver amalgam, but an excellent choice.
- Composite resins: Typically used in the front teeth for aesthetic reasons, but increasingly used in the molar area.
Natural looking and mercury-free fillings are the most requested restoration method for cavities. Tooth-colored fillings come in a wide range of colors that dentists use to match to your current teeth.
If you live in New Jersey and are in need of cosmetic dentistry to correct your smile or restore teeth to a more natural look, please contact Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville using our online form or calling (800) 672-8518. Dr. Patti Swaintek-Lamb can repair your teeth with a more natural looking substance or replace your silver amalgam fillings with composite resins.