Tooth decay, one of the most common dental problems, occurs when oral bacteria destroy your enamel. In the past, dental cavities were treated with a material called amalgam, which is a mixture of metals, including mercury or silver. We now know that these fillings do not fuse very well with the teeth, and the mercury may pose risks to your health. At Tupelo Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, experienced dentists Dr. Richard Caron and Dr. John Kenney offer tooth-colored fillings made with composite resin to fill cavities and restore damaged teeth. Composite allows us to treat decayed or damaged teeth more conservatively as it bonds better with the teeth and functions much like natural tooth structure. We can also remove metal fillings and replace them with tooth-colored fillings for a more reliable and natural-looking cavity treatment. Talk with our Tupelo, MS team today to learn more about restoring your smile with tooth-colored composite fillings.
Along with treating tooth decay (cavities), composite resin is a useful material that may be used to correct other concerns with your teeth, including chips or enamel that has been worn down by teeth grinding (bruxism). Composite also contains fluoride, which can help minimize the risk of developing decay around a tooth-colored filling. Since composite resin is tinted to match your teeth, tooth-colored fillings may be placed on both the back and front teeth to blend beautifully with surrounding enamel. If you have metal fillings, you may also wish to talk with doctors Caron or Kenney about having them replaced with composite resin.
What To Expect
Receiving a filling at Tupelo Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is generally a quick process. The area surrounding the cavity will be numbed to help you feel more comfortable; however, our minimally invasive technique may reduce the need for dental anesthetics. Other forms of sedation can be discussed for any fears or dental anxieties to keep you relaxed during your care. After you are prepared, the decayed enamel can be cleared away with a gentle air abrasion technique or advanced, low-vibration electric handpiece, which doctors Caron or Kenney will choose based upon the location of the cavity in the tooth and the amount of decay. Once the enamel is removed and the area is cleaned, the space will be filled with the composite resin material and set (hardened) with a curing light. The composite will then be polished for a seamless interface between your tooth and the new filling.
You should be able to return to your normal routine once your filling is complete, but you might have sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures for a few days. Nonprescription pain relief medication can be taken to help minimize discomfort or inflammation; however, you should not experience any major issues. If after a few days the filling feels uneven or high, please contact our office. Your new filling can be cared for through a regular home care routine, including daily brushing and flossing. At each of your annual exams, doctors Caron or Kenney will check your filling and let you know if it should be replaced or repaired at any time.
Cavities in the teeth may start as a small problem, but it is important to have them treated before they become a larger issue. At Tupelo Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, tooth decay and other types of damage may be treated with dental fillings. Doctors Caron and Kenney can skillfully match the shade of composite fillings to your teeth so that you can have a healthy, attractive smile. If you think you or your family member has a cavity, contact us today to schedule a dental examination with our Tupelo, MS practice.