Oral hygiene habits, such as regular brushing and flossing, offer great benefits to a patient’s overall oral health. Still, the primary function of the teeth is to break down foods so they can be easily swallowed and digested by the body. This exposes the teeth to sugars, acids, and starches that attract bacteria. Even with the best oral care, it is reasonable to assume that minor oral health problems will develop at some point. One of the most common of these is tooth decay. Restorative dentistry treatments repair tooth damage to restore tooth strength and oral health. At Winterset Dental we offer treatment for cavities that provide our Chicago, IL patients with improved oral health.
Food remnants and dental bacteria form a hard sticky layer of plaque on the teeth. Plaque eventually hardens into a substance called tartar, which is difficult to remove with regular brushing and flossing. A dental cleaning is the best way to remove harmful plaque and tartar.
If plaque and tartar accumulate, they increase the risk of cavities. Cavities develop when dental bacteria begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Eventually, small holes can develop in the tooth’s outer layer. These holes, caused by decay, are what are commonly referred to as dental cavities. The most effective treatment for a dental cavity is a dental filling.
A dental filling is applied to the tooth using a direct bonding technique. This means that the filling is shaped directly onto the tooth, rather than being fabricated in a dental lab. Dental filling treatment is pretty straightforward.
To begin treatment, the damaged tooth will be cleaned. It is important to remove any bacteria, as well as any tooth enamel that has been compromised. After cleaning the tooth, the dentist will apply a dental compound to the area of decay. This compound is shaped and molded so that it repairs tooth damage and provides a protective layer that prevents bacteria from reaching the sensitive tissues at the center of the tooth.
After shaping the compound so that it blends in seamlessly with the natural tooth, the material will be hardened. This bonds the filling to the tooth and strengthens the restoration so it cannot be easily damaged.
We understand that the appearance of the smile is important to our patients. This is why we offer tooth-colored fillings. Tooth-colored fillings repair damage without the use of noticeable dental materials. We are able to custom-match each filling to the unique shade of the patient’s teeth so that the filling is virtually undetectable.
Some cases of decay are too extensive to be adequately treated with a dental filling. If decay has damaged a significant portion of the tooth, alternate treatments may be more appropriate. We offer inlays and onlays to repair larger areas of decay, as well as dental crowns, which can restore teeth that have been significantly compromised. These treatment options will be discussed in further detail with those patients in need of more aggressive treatment.
Dental cavities should be treated right away to avoid the progression of tooth decay. If you are interested in learning more about dental filling treatment, contact us at your earliest convenience to set up an appointment with Dr. Anil K. Agarwal.