If you have a cavity, it’s common for your dentist to plug the decay with a filling. Mala Sheth, DDS, of Alpine Village Dental, serving Los Angeles’ South Bay region, is a highly respected dentist who excels in both patient care and clinical expertise when it comes to restoring cavities with fillings and crowns. If you have tooth pain, call Alpine Village Dental in Torrance, California, today to make an appointment or book using the online tool.
You might need a filling if tooth decay has made a hole in a tooth, called a cavity. Fillings plug the cavity to prevent further decay and enable you to chew normally.
The tooth decay that leads to cavities results from eating sugary foods and not keeping your teeth clean, which allows plaque to build up. Plaque is a sticky coating that continually forms on your teeth. It’s full of bacteria that feed on the sugar and then produce high levels of acid.
These acids destroy the hard outer layer — the enamel — on your teeth. If you don’t clean away the plaque, bacteria, and acid, the enamel breaks down over time, causing holes to appear that turn into cavities.
You can choose from several different materials for your fillings:
Tooth-colored fillings, or composite resins, are made from a glass or quartz filler. They’re most suited for use in small- to medium-size fillings. Their main advantage is that the filling blends in with your tooth, so you have a more natural-looking smile.
Dental amalgam is the traditional silver-colored filling material that dentists have used for many decades. It’s a mixture of metals that can include:
Amalgam is long-lasting and robust and costs less than tooth-colored fillings. The main disadvantage is that the silver color stands out more than with tooth-colored fillings.
Gold fillings, also known as inlays or onlays, are a mix of mainly gold and copper. They were first used over a thousand years ago, as gold is highly durable. Gold fillings cost more than amalgam, and they don’t blend in like tooth-colored fillings.
You go over the options with Dr. Sheth at your consultation to find the right choice for your needs.
The best way to prevent cavities is to take care of your teeth by:
You can also talk to Dr. Sheth about using supplemental fluoride to strengthen your teeth. She may also suggest having a dental sealant treatment that coats your teeth in a protective plastic barrier.
If you think you may have a cavity, call Alpine Village Dental today or book an appointment online.