When proper oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) is not kept, plaque can build up on the teeth and gums. The bacteria living in the plaque produce acids that attack the tooth enamel, breaking it down over time and causing a hole to form. This is known as a cavity and, if left untreated, could lead to more serious damage to the tooth, such as an abscess (infection) or even loss of the tooth.
Fillings are usually placed to remove decay and prevent further damage from occurring. At Hermosa Dental, we use composite fillings, which are typically made of powdered glass and acrylic resin. These are good for treating small to mid-size cavities. They provide good durability and can withstand moderate pressure from chewing. They also can be shaded to match the color of the surrounding teeth to create a more natural-looking smile.
When placing a cavity, the dentist will first remove all decay from the tooth and clean it thoroughly. The composite resin material will then be placed into the cleaned-out tooth to close off any spaces where bacteria can enter and prevent future decay. This is usually done in layers to strengthen the filling. Each layer is cured (hardened) before the next is applied. Once all the layers have been applied, the filling will be shaved down to match the fit and bite of the teeth.
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