The interior of your mouth contains hundreds of different kinds of bacteria. Some are helpful, and some are harmful. When you eat or drink, those bacteria feed on lingering particles and produce specific acids.
The acids eat away at your tooth enamel, weakening the protective layer at the surface of your teeth. If you've lost enough enamel, a tiny hole, or cavity, forms. The cavity can deepen and widen if left untreated, as more particles, bacteria, and acid collect in the hole.
Dr. Lee takes a very conservative approach to restorative care and strives to preserve as much healthy tooth tissue as possible when filling cavities. The process begins with a thorough dental exam.
X-ray imaging may be needed to determine the extent of decay. Very often, decay is present beneath the surface of your teeth and is undetectable with the naked eye.
When it’s time to fill the cavity, Dr. Lee begins by carefully removing the decayed tissue. Once she reaches healthy tissue, she cleans the area and prepares the filling material.
Your new fillings can be made of several different materials, each with benefits and disadvantages. The options include:
These fillings are made of a mix of metals and are very durable. They are also the most affordable filling option.
Composite fillings are mixed to match the color of your teeth, but they are not as durable as other materials and can wear away or chip.
Porcelain fillings are created in a dental lab and cover a significant portion of your natural tooth. They can be colored to match the surrounding tooth tissue.
Gold is the most expensive filling option but is the most durable. Gold fillings are also well tolerated by your gum tissue.
During your exam, Dr. Lee helps you decide which filling material is right for your needs and budget. Some options can be completed during the same visit, while others require multiple visits before the restoration is complete.
Schedule a dental exam and cleaning today, and find out if you have cavities that Dr. Lee can address.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!