Cavities: what to expect when you need a dental filling

It’s not only children that get cavities. Adults too are susceptibleto dental decay. If you suspect you have a cavity (tooth pain and dark brown or black stains on your teeth are possible indicators), then you’ll need to visit a professional who practises general dentistry. It’s important to act swiftly and make an appointment with your Edmonton dentist. Untreated dental decay can become a much worse problem, possibly resulting in you losing the tooth involved. Only a general dentist can assess, diagnose, and treat cavities.

How cavities are treated

The first step in dealing with cavities involves removing the decayed part of the tooth. A local anaesthetic is used to numb the area first, and then various dental tools are employed to get rid of the rotten portion of the tooth. Afterwards, the resulting gap is thoroughly cleaned and then filled. Most general dentists offer a choice of fillings, with the two most common being amalgam and composite resin.

Amalgam versus composite resin fillings

Tooth fillings make it possible for you to keep and use teeth that were damaged by dental decay. But is one type of filling better than another? Here’s what you need to know.

· Amalgam fillings are comprised of various metals including silver, tin, copper, zinc, and mercury. While mercury in its purest form is toxic, in a metal alloy, its harmful properties are for the most part safely locked within the compound. However, very small amounts of mercury are released as the strain of chewing eventually wears down the metal. The amount released is very small (you consume far more in your diet) and not considered harmful. Therefore the Health Protection Branch of the Canada
Department of National Health and Welfare (HPB), has not placed any restrictions on its use in amalgam fillings. Amalgam fillings are harder, longer lasting, generally less expensive and won’t shrink. However, they are quite visible unless placed at the back of the mouth and may require healthy tooth structure to be removed in order to place them.

· Composite resin fillings (also called white fillings) are comprised of tiny pieces of silica surrounded by a plastic resin. Unlike amalgam, they closely match the colour of your teeth and blend in seamlessly with the rest of your smile. This type of filling requires a special type of bright blue light to be shone on it in order for the material to harden. Composite resin fillings are more aesthetically appealing and don’t require cutting away any amount of healthy tooth. However, they’re usually pricier, prone to shrinkage once hardened, and less durable than amalgam fillings.

As you can see, neither type of dental filing is perfect, but both will sufficiently treat the cavity and perform the task of allowing you to eat, talk and smile the same as you always did.

General dentistry services in Edmonton
Need to see a dentist? Clearwater Dental Clinic is now accepting new patients. Simply contact us today to set up an initial appointment.

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