Dental Fillings

 

Why do I need a filling?

Let’s start with why you may need a filling.  Maybe you have extremely deep grooves in your teeth, to the bottom of which, toothbrush bristles are unable to reach and did not have protective sealants to protect those grooves from bacteria. Or perhaps you have not been flossing as often as you should?   Or maybe you like to snack all day long?  There are many different factors that can lead to tooth decay.  For most of us, it's a combination of factors.  There is no judgment here at D2 Dental, all we want, is to help you be cavity free!

 

How do cavities form?

Cavity, a.k.a. caries/decay, is formed when bacteria which is present in your mouth all the time, comes in contact with the food that you eat.  Acid is produced as a byproduct and starts weakening and destroying your tooth structure.

 

How do we fix it?

When you have a cavity, a dentist will get you numb, making sure to eliminate discomfort.  Then, a small bur is used to remove only the affected tooth structure and the bacteria underneath.  White (resin composite) filling material which bonds to the tooth, is used to fill in the missing tooth structure.  It’s then shaped and polished to make it look and feel like a new tooth again!

 

What can YOU do to prevent it?

 Brush, floss and brush some more (but not too hard).  Yes, the best way to prevent the acid from forming, is to decrease the number of bacteria in your mouth.  Unfortunately, no matter how much your brush, floss or mouthwash them away, you will never get rid of all bacteria.  The key is not to let the bacterial colonies grow out of control and limit the available nutrients that they thrive on.  Brushing for at least 2 minutes in the morning and for 2 minutes in the evening after flossing, will do the trick.  If you want to ensure zero cavities, floss and brush after EVERY meal, but we all know it may not be realistic for most people, so set goals for yourself that you can follow. Remember, it’s not how HARD you brush, it’s how OFTEN and for how LONG. Limiting sugar and snacking will help a lot as well.

 

How WE can help you prevent it?

Coming in every 6 month for cleanings (every 3 months if you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease) will allow us to remove all that sticky bacterial colonies called plaque, that may be too big and too sticky for you to remove by brushing alone.  We also recommend topical fluoride treatments. (see Fluoride tab to read more about Fluoride).