Dentist using curing light to harden man patient's filling while holding dental mirror

 

A cavity forms when tooth decay destroys enamel (the outer layer of your teeth). Fillings can be used to treat cavities and stop further decay. Dental bonding is an effective way to treat tooth decay.

 

Here’s more information about dental bonding and how composite resin fillings treat tooth decay.

 

What Causes Cavities?

Sugar is often blamed for causing cavities, but it isn’t the actual cause of tooth decay.

 

You have bacteria in your mouth that constantly form a film over your teeth called plaque. Without a good dental routine, the bacteria in plaque feed on sugars in the foods you eat and then produce harmful acids that eat away your enamel.

 

The most effective way to prevent cavities is to maintain a good dental routine: brush your teeth twice twice a day, floss once a day, and visit the dentist every six months to have your teeth professionally cleaned.

 

Sometimes, tooth decay still destroys enamel and a cavity forms.

 

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a restorative dental procedure that is used to treat many different problems:

  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Aesthetic issues (such as gaps between teeth)
  • Protecting exposed roots caused by gum recession
  • Tooth decay

 

As an alternative to amalgam fillings (silver fillings), composite resin is used to fill cavities through the procedure of dental bonding.

 

Most dentists use composite resin and dental bonding to treat cavities in teeth that can support them. For extensive decay, a root canal may be necessary.

Teeth with cavities before treatment and teeth with dental fillings after treatment

 

Dental Filling Process

Using a local anesthetic, the decaying tooth and area around the tooth will be numbed.

 

The dentist will prepare your mouth for the procedure with either cotton rolls or a rubber dam. This will keep your tooth dry, allowing the composite resin to properly bond to your tooth.

 

The dentist will clean out the decay from the affected tooth. After thoroughly cleaning and sterilizing the tooth, the dentist will shape your tooth and apply a gel to the area, providing a good surface to which the resin can bond.

 

Choosing the shade closest to your tooth color, the dentist will apply the composite resin and use a “curing light” to activate and harden the filling.

 

The resin is applied in several thin layers, allowing the dentist to make the filling the desired texture and shape.

 

Once the filling is completed, the dentist will buff and polish the tooth to a finish that blends in with the rest of your teeth.

 

Benefits of Dental Bonding

Because composite resin comes in many different shades to resemble the color of teeth, your fillings will be much less obvious than amalgam fillings.

 

Unlike amalgam fillings, composite resin fillings don’t contain mercury.

 

Because amalgam fillings don’t bond to teeth like composite resin, the dentist generally has to remove healthy tooth structure to make fit the filling. In dental bonding, the dentist simply removes the decay and fills in the hole with the resin.

Husband/father and wife/mother brushing teeth with their daughter and son

 

 

Remember to maintain a good dental health routine to keep your teeth healthy and strong.

 

For more information or to schedule a dental appointment, contact A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe in Sugar Land, Texas. We are committed to providing you and your family with expert dental care.