Here at Mark Romanelli DDS in Atascadero, CA our goal is to prevent cavities at all costs! We also understand that cavities will happen no matter how hard we try to prevent them. Composite fillings are a great way to hide the fact that you have had a filling placed in a tooth, as they are specially made to match the color and look of your teeth perfectly. We believe that educating our patients on how cavities are formed can help them to prevent cavities entirely!
What is a cavity?
Cavities are bacterial infections that have made their way into the tooth, also known as tooth decay. Cavities start small, but if they are left alone, they can become quite a serious issue that can lead to tooth loss and even oral abscesses.
The Cause of Cavities
You may have heard of plaque and tartar, which are the main offenders when it comes to cavities. Plaque describes the build-up of the bacteria that live in your mouth. Have you ever eaten something that was high in sugar content, and noticed that your teeth felt a little fuzzy or mossy afterword? That is an example of plaque. Plaque feeds off of the sugars, acids, and food particles left behind from your meals. Plaque congregates on the surfaces of your teeth and is washed away when you brush and floss. If you don’t brush or floss, or if you miss a spot with consistency, plaque will turn into what we call tartar.
Tartar is a hard, caked-on substance that is impossible to remove with brushing and flossing. The only way to remove tartar is to come into our office for a professional cleaning.
If we notice that you have a cavity, we will recommend that you have a filling placed. The first step in the composite filling placement process is to numb the site with a local anesthetic to make sure that you feel comfortable throughout the procedure. Once the site is numb, we will remove the decayed portion of the tooth with a special dental drill. Once the decay has been removed, we will mix the composite resin, which is a mixture of glass, plastic, and a resin binding agent. We mix this solution to match the color of your teeth perfectly.
We will apply the composite resin directly to the tooth as a putty that we mold and shape into place. Once we have the resin placed appropriately, we will set it in place permanently with special ultraviolet light. The light hardens the filling material and helps it to set against the surface of the tooth.
How to Prevent Cavities
Brushing and flossing twice a day is the best way to prevent cavities. Following meals like lunch, where a toothbrush isn’t handy, you can always rinse and swish with some water to help wash away food particles and bacteria. It’s critical that you come in to see us at least twice a year so that we can give your teeth a professional cleaning and examination.