How a Cavity Filling Works

cavityWhen you eat sugar, the bacteria in your mouth turn that sugar into acid, which then eats away at your tooth structure. This weakens the integrity of your tooth structure, causing pain and impaired function. In order to rectify this problem, you need to replace the acid-eaten tooth structure with an artificial replacement material.

The replacement takes place in a two-step process. The first step is called the preparation. In this step your dentist will take his drill to remove all compromised tooth structure and shape the remaining structure in a way which will help it to hold on to the artificial material that will be added in the second step.

The second step is called the restoration. There are 2 types of restorations. The first, a direct restoration, is done directly on your tooth surface while you sit in the dental chair. He’ll add a malleable composite material and use various tools to shape it and make it nearly identical to the original tooth structure. This restoration is typically used when only a small portion of your tooth structure has been eaten away by the acid in your mouth.

The second type is called an indirect restoration, most often used when there is more extensive damage to the tooth structure. The dentist takes an impression or a mold of your teeth before drilling. The mold is then used to create an identical replacement structure after the decayed tooth material has been drilled away. This type of restoration is most commonly used with dental crowns.

Remember, by using an electric toothbrush (Sonicare, or Oral B, for example) you may avoid having to get any cavity fillings!

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