Cavities occur in your teeth as the result of tooth decay. Oral bacteria that love naturally in your mouth feed on lingering food particles. As they eat, they produce acids, which eat away at the enamel layer of your teeth. Over time, pits form in your teeth, where bacteria can hide. The cavity continues to grow, and can eventually work its way into the interior of the tooth. Bacteria can enter the tooth and lead to a painful infection. Fillings are a common treatment for dealing with cavities. At Kids First Pediatric Dentistry, we offer composite resin (tooth-colored) fillings.
An Alternative to Silver Fillings
Traditionally, cavities were filled with an amalgam material. Still used today, amalgam is made up of a mixture of tin, silver, and nickel suspended in mercury. Amalgam fillings are well known for their exceptional strength, but they do have a few disadvantages. For one, they are silver in color, and therefore not aesthetically pleasing. Amalgam fillings contain trace amounts of metal, which can cause an allergic reaction in some. The mercury in amalgam fillings is a major concern for many dental patients as well.
Composite resin or tooth-colored fillings offer an alternative. The material used is made up of fine glass in a resin. Not only does the material mimic the color of your natural teeth, but it also mimics many of the other properties of your teeth, such as the wear rate and translucency. Composite resin fillings are durable and able to withstand normal chewing forces.
How are Composite Fillings Placed?
First, the decay is cleared away from the tooth. We use a special instrument called handpiece (water whistle motorized brush) to do this. The tooth is then cleaned and dried. We apply an acidic gel to the cavity, which creates a rough texture. This will help the composite resin to bond with the tooth. The tooth is cleaned and dried a second time. We then place the composite resin into the cavity and dry it with a blue light. Finally, the material is smoothed and polished.
Benefits and Drawbacks to Composite Fillings
There are several benefits to composite resin fillings:
Along with these benefits, composite resin does have a few disadvantages as well:
If your child has a cavity, or you even suspect a cavity, seeking dental treatment right away is important. Contact Kids First Pediatric Dentistry today at (203) 307-1550 to schedule your appointment.