By D Casey Hart DDS
April 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Remember when the only way to repair a cavity was with a dark, amalgam filling? While amalgam works well in some circumstances, your fillingsMarietta, GA, dentist places numerous tooth-colored fillings for excellent durability and smile aesthetics. Just how do white fillings work? Read on to find out how Dr. Casey Hart places these lifelike restorations.

How a cavity happens

Cavities form when oral bacteria secrete corrosive acids on tooth enamel. These bacteria thrive in the food residues left behind on and between teeth and at the gum line. As the acids do their work, a hole, or cavity, forms. Left undiscovered and untreated, a cavity can cause:

  • Dental sensitivity to cold, heat, and sugar
  • Dental abscess when decay invades interior tooth pulp
  • Throbbing toothache pain
  • Tooth loss

It's important to see your Marietta dentist every six months for preventive cleanings and exams and to brush, floss, and eat a tooth-friendly diet daily.

Treatment with a tooth-colored filling

Unlike metal filling material, tooth-colored composite resin (a mixture of plastic and glass particles) requires far less enamel preparation before placing a filling. Your dentist simply numbs your tooth and removes any decay and old filling material with a drill and other handheld tools.

Then, Dr. Hart places a special etching liquid on the tooth. This helps the composite resin bond well to the tooth. Next, he layers the filling material into the tooth and bonds it in place with a special curing light. This layering/bonding process creates an exceptionally strong filling. With a final shaping and bite check, the filling is complete.

Other kinds of tooth-colored fillings include porcelain (inlays or onlays which treat very large cavities) and glass ionomer. This innovative material works best on tooth surfaces which are not subjected to the forces of biting and chewing (cheek-side or tongue-side decay). Glass ionomer combines glass with gradual-release fluoride which strengthens the underlying tooth structure.

Do you have a cavity?

Don't delay. Today's tooth-colored fillings are lifelike and last for years. For an appointment with Dr. Hart in Marietta, GA, please contact his office staff at (770) 926-8371.