With about 175 million dental fillings done every year in the United States, they are the most common dental procedure. In fact, one in four people have 11 or more fillings in their teeth! At Houston Biological Dentist, Dr. Marilyn Jones provides Houston area patients who need their teeth filled with beautiful BPA-free, tooth-colored fillings made from composite resin.
How a tooth filling works and why it is done
When you eat and drink foods, the sugars, starches, and debris remain on your teeth until you thoroughly brush and floss them. Bacteria love these sugary substances and start feeding off them rapidly, which leads to the formation of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that if not cleaned off, can lead to a harder material called tartar that helps shield the bacteria from brushing and flossing. Over time, the acids in the plaque and tartar erode your tooth enamel and then bacteria and their acidic by-products can start to make their way into the inner layers of the tooth. When this process occurs, it forms what we all know as a cavity.
When Dr. Jones detects a cavity in your tooth, it is important to have it filled so that the decay process does not continue any further and leads to even more intensive damage to your tooth. If this happens, extensive treatments may be necessary to save your tooth, and in some cases, tooth loss or extraction may even occur.
To treat a tooth with a cavity, Dr. Jones first gently numbs the area that will be treated with an anesthetic so you will be completely comfortable throughout the treatment. Then, she removes the decayed portion of the tooth to halt the decay and bacterial growth and disinfects the tooth from any bacteria that may be remaining in the area to prevent future decay. Then, she applies BPA-free composite resin layer-by-layer into that area of the tooth, curing it with a special light after each layer so that it is hard and durable. In the end, she shapes the filling to have the natural curvature of your tooth, and you are free to go with your tooth-colored, discreet filling in place!
Why choose composite resin over amalgam?
While dental amalgam has been used in dentistry for many decades because it is cheap and effective, with all of the advances in functional and biocompatible dental materials, there is simply no need to use a material that contains mercury, a well-documented toxin – and amalgam contains up to 50 percent mercury! On the other hand, the composite resin is:
- Tooth-colored so your filling blends in seamlessly with your smile
In addition, using composite resin preserves the most of your natural tooth possible due to how it fills your tooth, meaning that we need to drill-less and use less filling material.
If you are suffering from tooth pain or have been told that you need a cavity filled, call Houston Biological Dentist today to schedule an appointment and learn more! New patients can reach our Houston office at (713) 497-1355, and existing patients can call us at (713) 785-7767.