Cavities, most commonly associated with children, are an oral health issue that can affect anyone, regardless of age. Having cavities treated as soon as they are discovered is essential for stopping their growth and restoring your oral health. However, when most patients think about fillings, they tend to think about the silver amalgam fillings. This can then lead them to avoid treatment. Avoiding treatment can have serious consequences. At the office of Joseph Dautremont, DDS, we provide an alternative to traditional amalgam fillings: porcelain fillings.
How Cavities Form
Cavities are the result of tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when acids from oral bacteria and plaque are left on the surfaces of the teeth. Brushing and flossing help to remove these acids, along with plaque and bacteria. Sometimes, however, areas of the teeth are missed, and the acids begin to eat away at the enamel. Over time, small pits, or cavities, form. Bacteria hide in the cavities and continue their destruction. The cavities grow larger. If left untreated for too long, cavities can grow into the inner layer of the teeth, leading to painful infections.
Traditionally, cavities have been filled with amalgam, a mixture of metals suspended in mercury. While known for their exceptional strength, there are several downsides to this material. Amalgam fillings are silver in color, making them highly visible against the natural whiteness of your teeth. They contain metals, which can irritate those with allergies. The mercury content is also concerning for many patients.
Eventually, the development of composite resin fillings provided an alternative to amalgam. The resin is white in color, matching the color of the enamel, and it contains no metals. Less tooth structure needs to be removed than with amalgam fillings. However, the composite is not nearly as strong and can be vulnerable to wear over time. Eating hard foods or using your teeth as tools regularly can weaken, and even break, the composite resin. The material can also stain if you drink coffee or tea on a regular basis.
Porcelain fillings are another alternative to the traditional amalgam fillings. Their application process is quite different. After the tooth is cleaned, and the decay removed, a digital impression is taken of the tooth. The impression is sent to our in-house lab. The impression is displayed on a computer, where our technicians can design a perfectly fitting restoration. Once designed, the restoration is milled. When it is ready, we cement it into place. Porcelain contains no metals, and it blends in seamlessly with the rest of your natural tooth structure.
Benefits of Porcelain
Porcelain fillings offer numerous benefits:
Porcelain fillings help to restore the health of teeth affected by cavities, and the material will blend in seamlessly with the rest of your smile. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call the office of Joseph Dautremont, DDS at (818) 570-8525 today.