Although good oral hygiene habits reduce your risk of tooth decay, many people still develop cavities. In fact, 92 percent of U.S. adults have had one or more cavities, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. If you have tooth decay, restorative fillings offered by your Honeoye Falls, NY, family dentist also serving Mendon, NY, Dr. Gregory Lowenguth of HFL Dental, provide important benefits for your smile.
Why Restoring Your Teeth is Important
A cavity develops when tooth decay attacks your tooth enamel. If the decay isn't treated promptly it can spread to other teeth or reach your pulp, causing an infection called an abscess. Abscesses are particularly dangerous, as the infection can spread to other parts of your body.
Removing the decayed portion of your tooth and replacing it with a filling at the Honeoye Falls, NY, dental office also serving Mendon, NY, stops decay from destroying your tooth and protects your health. The sooner your cavity is filled, the better. Although adding a filling protects and restores your tooth, removing tooth structure weakens the tooth slightly. If your cavity is large, you're more likely to need more than just a standard filling to protect and restore your tooth. Dental crowns may also be needed if you've had a large cavity.
These days, teeth are usually filled with composite resin, a plastic-based material that's available in many tooth-colored shades. Tooth-colored fillings offer these advantages:
- Natural Appearance: Not so long ago, everyone knew you had a filling every time you opened your mouth. That's not the case with tooth-colored fillings. The filling material is selected to match the natural shade of your teeth, which makes your dental work blend in with your tooth enamel. Your filling also won't discolor your tooth over time, a problem that can happen with silver amalgam fillings.
- Stronger Tooth: Composite fillings bond to your enamel, strengthening your tooth. Tooth-colored fillings only require the removal of a small amount of healthy tooth structure surrounding the cavity, which also helps keep your tooth stronger.
- Reduced Cracking Risks: Silver amalgam fillings expand and contract when you eat or drink hot and cold beverages. Expansion and contraction may eventually crack your tooth, increasing your risk of a break or dental abscess. Fortunately, your composite resin filling won't expand or contract no matter what you eat or drink.
Are you concerned that you may have a cavity? Call your family dentist in Honeoye Falls, NY, also serving Mendon, NY, Dr. Lowenguth of HFL Dental, at (585) 624-1917 to schedule an appointment.