Why Do Cavities From?

Dental Fillings are needed because cavities are mostly caused by the acidic excretions from oral bacteria. These bacteria consume carbohydrates such as sugars in your mouth and produce acids that attack your teeth. Your tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in your body, but it’s mostly mineral, so it’s vulnerable to acids and can’t heal the way other tissues in your body do.

At first, the acid removes minerals from your tooth enamel. Your body can restore some of these with minerals in your saliva. However, if acids remove more minerals than your body can restore, acid can create holes in your teeth. Dentists often call these dental caries, but most people call them cavities.

You can protect your teeth from acidic attacks by eating less refined sugar, practicing good oral hygiene, and seeing a dentist regularly for preventive care. However, sooner or later, almost everyone develops one or more cavities.

The Goals of Dental Fillings

Fillings first and foremost live up to their name: they fill cavities. This is important because once cavities start, they can grow quickly. Cavities trap food and give oral bacteria shelter. The shelter is important because your saliva has natural antibiotics in it. The cavity also traps and concentrates the acid waste of bacteria. This makes the acid more effective at attacking your enamel, so the cavity grows.

Second, fillings need to create a tight seal with your teeth. This is important because small cracks and ledges around the filling or between the filling and the tooth can act like cavities, trapping food and sheltering bacteria until a new cavity forms.

Third, a filling can strengthen and support a tooth weakened by a large cavity. Our teeth are initially very strong, but a cavity creates a point of weakness from which larger defects can develop. This can cause a tooth to chip or crack.

Finally, a filling should restore the appearance of your tooth. A decayed tooth can be a very visible defect in your smile. Your filling should help your teeth look beautiful again.

Filling Options

At South Bay Prosthodontics in Torrance, CA, we offer two types of fillings: composite fillings and ceramic fillings.

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are a great choice for most cavities. Composite fillings start as a soft paste. After removing decayed and damaged tooth tissue, your dentist will press the composite into the prepared space. Then, your dentist shines a curing light on the filling so that it hardens. Deep fillings might require more than one layer. Once your dentist has filled the cavity, they will polish the filling to gain a tooth-like luster.

Composite fillings are quick, inexpensive, and versatile. They’re a great way to take care of your cavities quickly and to do it affordably. When properly used, composite fillings can also be very long-lasting.

Composite fillings do have disadvantages. First, they’re prone to staining. They also don’t look as attractive if they lose their polish. Finally, they don’t contribute much strength to a damaged tooth and can fail early if used for a large cavity.

Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic fillings are described in detail on the page inlay and onlay dental restorations. Here, we mostly want to compare them to composite fillings.

Ceramic fillings are stronger than composite fillings and look like natural tooth enamel. They can retain their attractive luster for a long time. Ceramic fillings can restore significant strength to damaged and decayed teeth.

The tradeoff is that ceramic fillings are more expensive and can take a little longer to place.

Man smiling after his Experience with Laser Dentistry in Torrance.

Why Choose a Prosthodontist for Your Fillings

A prosthodontist specializes in placing restorations on your teeth, including dental fillings. When you work with a prosthodontist, you know that they understand the properties of the dental materials, so they know when to use each type of filling.

You can also count on a prosthodontist to know how to place a filling to fulfill its four key functions.

Your teeth deserve the level of care that a prosthodontist can provide.

Dental Fillings in Torrance, CA

Do you have one or more cavities that need to be filled? Don’t let just any dentist work on your teeth. Request the care that a dental specialist offers.

Please call (310) 378-9261 or use our online form today to request an appointment at South Bay Prosthodontics in Torrance, CA.