Dental Fillings | Leander, Cedar Park & Liberty Hill
What are cavities?
Cavities comes in all sizes and its useful to categorize them as such. On a scale of 1 to 10, a one would be a tooth that has some visible staining in the grooves or a discolored patch on your tooth that you might see if you haven’t been brushing well or after you take your braces off. At this point you likely won’t have any symptoms and many dentists would recommend a watch and observe.
A 4 out of 10 would be the moment when the cavity has grown in size and starts to break through the thickness of your enamel. This is something we would be able to detect on your dental x-ray. If you look at the picture, you can see the dark spot starting to break through the outer enamel shell.
At this point, you likely will start to feel some sensitivity to sweet and possibly cold. It is also at this point where most dentists would highly recommend a filling because the likelihood of you needing a root canal is much greater now.
When your cavity has breached the inner dentin layer and is not invading your nerve canal, you are at a 7 out of 10. This is where most dental emergencies are. Common symptoms are dull throbbing toothache, sensitive to biting, cold, hot and sweet. Unfortunately at this stage we are left with few options outside of performing a root canal. We would often presribe some antibiotics to help your body fight off the infection and then proceed with the root canal treatment.
What are fillings?
Fillings the materials that we use to fill the holes of your teeth once we have removed all the bacteria and affected tooth structure. There are a few types of filling materials we use and each are have their own pros and cons.
Amalgam (Silver) – made from a combination of metals that include mercury, silver, tin, and copper. This material has been used by dentists for more than 100 years because it lasts a long time and is less expensive than other cavity-filling materials.
Composite (Tooth colored) – Sometimes referred resins, these fillings feature a combination of glass or quartz filler and can be made to match the color of your tooth. Composite fillings are also fairly durable and are ideal for small-to-mid-size restorations in areas of your mouth that perform moderate chewing.