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Tooth decay is a bacterial infection that creates openings (cavities) inside of your enamel. Left untreated, it can spread into the nerve, resulting in an abscess. Cavities can also expand into adjacent teeth. At Sonoma Smiles, we practice early intervention and minimally invasive dentistry to treat cavities while they’re as small as possible.
What is a Dental Filling?
Dental fillings are restorative treatments that help to fill in the void created by tooth decay. The tooth-colored material bonds closely with your enamel to make it as if your tooth is completely reconstructed. A well-placed filling will seal out bacteria to prevent the spread of cavities into adjacent tooth structures.
Do I Need a Dental Filling?
Tooth decay is not always obvious. Cavities can be completely asymptomatic even in the most advanced stages of infection. That being said, some of the most common warning signs to look for will include tooth pain, sensitivity to sweets, food getting caught between teeth, and rough edges you can feel with your tongue.
Cavities do not heal or go away on their own and there are no holistic or “do-it-yourself” options to reverse decay. The only option is to clean out the infection and fill in the void. That being said, if we catch the decay process before a cavity forms, we can apply fluoride to the area to help remineralize weak tooth enamel.
During your dental exam, we’ll take a set of X-rays to screen for tooth decay in the most common areas. Such as between teeth or on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. If a cavity is noted, we will make you aware of the next steps.
Although it can be tempting to avoid a filling if your tooth doesn’t hurt, one should never base the extent of their dental infection on their level of discomfort. Even severely abscessed teeth may never cause a toothache.
Advantages of Composite Fillings
Our Rohnert Park dentist’s office uses mercury-free white fillings. Unlike older styles of amalgam (silver) fillings, composite restorations are:
- Minimally invasive
- Matched to your tooth
- Preserve maximum tooth structure
- Bond naturally to enamel
- Free of mercury
Composite comes in a variety of shades, allowing us to match the best color to your unique smile. Once your filling is placed, no one should ever be able to tell where it is.
Feeling a Little Nervous?
That’s completely understandable, especially if you’ve never had a filling before. Be sure to ask about our variety of sedation dentistry options, including medication-free relaxation techniques.
Need a Filling? Don’t Wait
To minimize the spread of decay, cavities are best treated as early as possible. Contact Sonoma Smiles for gentle dental fillings and more.
(All photos of actual patients)