When the bacteria that live in a patient’s mouth combine with starches and sugars from the foods he or she eats, acid is created. The resulting acid sticks to the teeth and forms plaque. If the plaque isn't thoroughly removed on a regular basis, it will deteriorate the tooth enamel and create a permanent hole in the tooth. The hole is called a cavity. To prevent further tooth damage, Dr. Nealis will repair the cavity with a filling.
Dr. Nealis will first will numb the tooth and surrounding area with an anesthetic drug. Then, he will use a drill to remove the decayed portion of the tooth. Last, he will use a material to fill the hole. Depending on where the cavity is located and its size, Dr. Nealis will either use a tooth-colored composite filling or a gray metal amalgam. Gold is sometimes used to fill teeth but is declining in popularity.
Yes, fillings will occasionally dislodge from teeth. Certain foods or injuries to the teeth can dislodge fillings. Dr. Nealis can easily replace the lost filling using the same procedure that was performed initially. If a patient loses a filling he or she should be certain to have the filling replaced quickly to avoid further damage to the tooth.
Cavities and the need for fillings are preventable with good oral hygiene and regular dental check ups. Patients should also brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day, and floss at least once a day. The following suggestions are also important to cavity prevention:
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