With thorough homecare and consistent dental visits, we can prevent tooth decay and keep our teeth cavity free. Yet sometimes, even the most diligent brushers and flossers will develop a cavity. To learn why cavities develop and how they are repaired, read below as your Brighton dentist, Dr. Thomas Villani discusses the progression of tooth decay and compares silver (amalgam) fillings with white fillings.
Bacteria: The Beginning of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay begins with bad bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria consume sugar and produce an acid byproduct that can strip teeth of their enamel. Bacteria are also capable of adhering to teeth. When they do so, they form plaque (a clear, sticky substance) or tartar (hardened plaque). Plaque and tartar can be difficult to remove, and if they are not removed, the bacteria can do damage to teeth in a concentrated area. This damage can eventually result in a cavity.
Cavities and White Fillings
If a cavity is not treated, the decay can continue until bacteria infiltrate the tooth’s innermost portion (the pulp). If bacteria enter the pulp, the tooth can become infected and can eventually die. Before bacteria are able to access the tooth’s pulp, however, a tooth with a cavity can receive a dental filling, which can reinforce the tooth and prevent further decay.
If you develop a cavity, your Brighton dentist, Dr. Villani, can repair your tooth with two types of fillings: amalgam fillings and white fillings. Amalgam fillings are made out of several metals and feature a silver color. They also contain trace amounts of mercury, prompting health professionals to suggest that pregnant women and young children opt for white fillings instead. White filling are made out of a tooth-colored composite resin (the same material used in dental bonding), making them a cosmetic improvement over amalgam fillings, which tend to stand out against teeth.
Schedule a Visit with Your Brighton Dentist
Do you want a dental filling that doesn’t stand out? A white filling from your Brighton dentist, Dr. Villani, can blend in with your natural tooth. Contact Brighton Family Dental Group today at (617) 562-5210 to schedule an appointment or a consultation. We proudly serve patients from Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Brighton, and the 02135 area.