Adult teeth are theoretically supposed to last for the rest of your life. But the reality is that the teeth get damaged rather quickly and a lot of people lose their teeth at some point in their life. Cavities can damage your teeth because it enables bacteria to grow in them. Your teeth may also be worn down by years of chewing, or it might get damaged because you bit on something too hard. You may have missed food bits between your teeth which encouraged the growth of bacteria that feed into the enamel of your teeth. You may have developed bad habits such as biting your nails and grinding your teeth while you sleep. At The Smile Company, we can repair most kinds of tooth damage with fillings.
When you visit our clinic in Maryland Heights, Missouri for a regular checkup, we will check the state of your fillings (if you already have them) to see whether they need to be fixed. We also check the condition of your teeth, and look for cavities that require fillings.
If it's determined that some of your teeth require fillings, we will start by using local anesthesia so you won't feel any pain during the procedure. We will then use drills and other tools to remove the decayed parts of your teeth, and then clean out the remaining parts as thoroughly as possible. After that, we then fill up the cavity with the filling material that we feel is best for you.
When you get your fillings, your teeth will resume a more proper shape to enable you to chew your food more effectively. They also cover up cavities to prevent bacteria from coming in and doing more damage to your teeth. And with some materials, your teeth will look more natural as well.
Which Material Is Used for Fillings?
There are several possible options when it comes to filling materials. Several different factors will affect the final choice of course. First we need to check whether you're allergic to any of the materials. We also take the location of the tooth into account factor in the extent of the damage, and your budget.
One popular option is tooth-colored composite resin, which we often use for prominent teeth such as those at the front and at the back. These teeth are easily seen, and most patients prefer natural-looking fillings that don't look too obvious and distracting. Another advantage of composite resin is that they're very affordable. Then again, they don't last very long, as they may only be good for 3 years and rarely do they stay for 10 years. The composite resin has a tendency to stain, especially if you smoke or regularly drink tea or coffee. And they're more liable to wear off over time so they're not ideal for large fillings.
Gold may also be used, and it is not as expensive as some people may think. They can last for a couple of decades because your gum tissues can tolerate it very well. However, it is not very easy to use so multiple visits to our clinic may be needed. The color also attracts attention, so they're rarely used for the front teeth unless you don't mind (or actually prefer) the attention.
Amalgam fillings are another option, and they're a combination of mercury, silver, copper, and tin. In some cases, zinc is part of the mix. This material is also very durable and yet they're affordable too. But again, the metallic color may not be ideal for prominent teeth.
Porcelain is a comparatively new option. It's not expensive, and its main advantage is that it can be made to look natural so that people won't notice your fillings. However, they need to be specially made in a laboratory before the porcelain can be bonded into your tooth.
Call us at (314) 254-4000 so we can set an appointment for you at our dental clinic in Maryland Heights, Missouri. We will check the current state of your fillings and see if you have cavities that need attention. At The Smile Company, we can fix the damage to your tooth, enhance the appearance of your smile, and prevent your teeth from developing more serious problems.