Fillings to Treat Cavities and Tooth Decay for Patients in Clearwater, FL
Fillings do exactly what their name indicates – they fill, or seal, small cavities in teeth that were caused by decay. Tooth decay destroys the enamel, or hard, outer layer of a tooth. When left untreated, this type of bacterial infection can spread to the sensitive inner pulp, or nerve tissue, in the root canal, and also cause pain and tooth loss. Fillings can prevent the spread of tooth decay. Therefore, it’s important to see a dentist promptly if you experience a toothache, and also for regular check-ups so that any decay can be identified and treated in its early stages. If you suspect that you have one or more cavities that require fillings, or any other dental issue, the gentle dentists at Florida Dental Centers in Clearwater, Florida, are here to help.
If you have no fillings in your mouth, congratulations! But, if you do, you should know that you are not alone. The U.S. Surgeon General has estimated that approximately 78 percent of Americans have at least one cavity by the time they reach age 17. In its early stages, tooth decay can sometimes be addressed with fluoride. This is just one more reason to be aware of changes in your mouth and schedule an appointment for a checkup with a dentist at Florida Dental Centers in Clearwater, FL.
Decay that has progressed to the point of eroding tooth enamel can usually be treated with fillings. There are two broad categories of fillings – amalgam (metal) and composite (tooth-colored). Each has several advantages and disadvantages:
- Amalgam – This tried-and-true option is strong, stable, and safe. However, the dark color is noticeable, and the metal composition necessitates more tooth preparation than that required for composite fillings.
- Composites – This mixture of plastic and glass is cosmetically pleasing and bonds well to teeth. Less tooth preparation is required to place a composite filling, but it can be more expensive than amalgam, and it is not as strong.
The best filling option for you can be determined during a consultation with your dentist at Florida Dental Centers. Following your treatment, you should continue to brush and floss every day and see your dentist for your regular checkups and cleanings. Remember, tooth decay that requires fillings is easily preventable. With good oral hygiene and professional care, you should be able to make your most recent cavity your last.
If you would like to consult with a dentist about fillings or other dental treatments, please contact Florida Dental Centers today to schedule an appointment at our office in Clearwater, FL, or one of our other convenient locations.