Having a cavity (aka dental caries) is second only to the common cold in frequency among all diseases. Yes, it is a disease, although when we were growing up we only thought of it as a pain when we ate too much candy and didn’t brush our teeth enough. Even small ones need immediate attention and you should be checking regularly to see if you see the telltale spot before you start feeling it and it’s more costly to have it removed to keep it from spreading.
Now there is even a cosmetic alternative to having a filling of ugly amalgam silver that everyone might see if you just grin, laugh, yawn, or talk. It takes away from the beauty of your smile, but the new tooth-colored composite resin filling is a biocompatible plastic that can be shaded so it looks like part of your natural tooth.
Second, it probably has mercury in it, like inexpensive amalgam fillings used to have. While the American Dental Association does not believe it is a toxic amount, conventional wisdom in any field is often far behind the ultimate proof of a problem. It is better to be safe than sorry and have it removed in the proper way and replaced with the new resin.
Third, you need strong fillings to keep protecting teeth that once had cavities. No filling lasts forever and they need to be carefully examined by your cosmetic dentist regularly to see if they have been damaged by unconsciously grinding your teeth while you sleep, chewing on pens, ice, or hard foods that can even dislodge them, or just normal wear and tear. Since the new resins last 3-10 years with good dental hygiene, older ones almost certainly need to be checked for replacement to keep teeth healthy. Otherwise, bacteria can cause new cavities.
Fourth, tooth-colored fillings do not require as much of the healthy structure of the tooth to be removed as the amalgam ones did or even the expensive gold ones do now.
Fifth, they do not stain easily. You still need to brush twice a day for two minutes to keep them as white as possible, drink water and brush soon after consuming coffee, tea, or red wine, and have them cleaned by a dental hygienist twice a year.
Sixth, they are the least expensive and quickest solution to cavities. After the numbing takes effect, it typically only takes 15 minutes to replace or put in a resin filling.
Call today to set up a full dental examination so that you know the state of your oral health, including whether you have old fillings or new cavities that need attention.