At Hunter Dental Care, we are always on the lookout for signs of tooth decay. We have some ways that we detect and treat tooth decay and find that the more you understand about the process, the better care you will be able to take of your teeth!
Detecting Cavities Early Means Preventing Fillings
We are always on the lookout for signs of tooth decay when you come in to have your bi-annual cleanings and examinations. When you come in to have your teeth cleaned and examined we will take an X-ray of your mouth, which helps us to see in between and even inside of your teeth. X-rays coupled with a close examination of your teeth can reveal places where the enamel is wearing thin and tooth decay may strike next. If we can find these areas before they turn into cavities, we can let you know where they are and what you can do to stop them. Often, this will result in preventing cavities from ever forming, which is why it’s so important to come in regularly to our office to have your checkup!
You probably know amalgam fillings as “silver” or “metal” fillings. These are silver in color and usually quite large. They are made up of an amalgamation of silver, tin, mercury, and copper. There has recently been some question as to the safety of amalgam fillings because of the presence of mercury in the mixture used to make them. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has done several studies on the safety of mercury in amalgam fillings and found that they are safe for adults and children ages 6 and up.
Amalgam fillings require a large area of the tooth to be removed to be successful, which sometimes means removing not only the cavity but parts of your healthy tooth as well.
Composite fillings are more commonly known as “tooth colored” fillings. These are the successor to amalgam fillings and offer quite a few advantages over them. Composite fillings are made of a mixture of glass, plastic, and a special resin that binds the material together. We mix these components in our office to match the color of your tooth exactly. Once mixed, the material is soft and clay-like, which allows us to mold and shape it according to our needs. No one will be able to tell that you have a composite filling because they look just like your natural tooth.
Composite fillings require much less of your tooth to be removed than amalgam fillings. This means that you get to keep more of your natural tooth, which is a great thing!
Similar to a filling, our office also offers Inlays & Onlays. They are an alternative to traditional fillings. They are known as indirect fillings, created outside of the tooth rather than cured in it.
Receiving a Filling
The first step is to ensure your comfort by giving you a local anesthetic to numb the area. Once we are sure that the site is numb we will remove the decayed portion of your tooth with a special drill. We will wash the drilled area with and antibacterial solution to ensure it’s cleanliness and fill it with the filling material.
Please call us today at (503) 622-9730 to schedule your appointment.