Posts for tag: Fillings
Is this your child’s first cavity? Take a deep breath. We can help.
When you find out that your child has a cavity it may feel rather unsetting, particularly because you work hard to make sure your child maintains a healthy smile. A lot of children experience a cavity at some point and it’s important that when they do they have a family dentist in Arlington, VA, like our very own Dr. Mary Gregory, who can provide their teeth with the proper restorative care they need.
Why do cavities happen?
Everyone has bacteria in their mouth and when you consume certain foods, particularly starches or sugars, the bacteria turn these foods into acid. The acid, along with bacteria and the food that your child has just eaten then form a sticky substance over the teeth known as plaque. Over time, the acid found within plaque can wear away at the enamel, causing cavities or holes in your child’s teeth.
One of the best ways to reduce your child’s risk of cavities is to limit how much sugar they eat or drink. Checking nutrition labels is your best bet, because you may be surprised to discover just how many foods contain high levels of added sugar. Sugar and starches such as white breads and pastas can increase plaque buildup. If the plaque isn’t properly brushed away it hardens into tartar, which only our Arlington, VA, dentist can remove during a six-month routine cleaning.
How is decay removed?
If we do discover a cavity in your child’s tooth during a checkup it’s important that we remove the decay to prevent it from spreading further. To do this, we will first numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic before removing the decayed enamel. How much enamel we have to remove will depend on the extent of the damage.
Does my child need a dental filling?
If your child has a cavity then yes, a dental filling is most certainly in order. A filling doesn’t just restore the appearance of the tooth and refill areas where decayed enamel was removed but it also serves to re-strengthen the tooth so that it doesn’t weaken over time.
A dental filling is often made from a putty-like material known as dental resin. This resin is first matched to the shade of your child’s tooth before being applied in one thin layer over the area or areas of the tooth that need to be rebuilt. Once the layer is perfectly shaped we will shine a blue curing light over the tooth to harden the resin directly to the tooth’s surface. We will continue to apply more layers of resin until the tooth is completely restored. Getting a dental filling only takes a couple of minutes and it’s a completely painless process.
If it’s time to schedule your child’s next dental cleaning or if your child is dealing with dental pain or other symptoms of a cavity it’s important that you call our Arlington, VA, dental office to schedule an appointment for your little one. It’s important to have a family dentist you and your family can turn to.
If your Arlington, VA dentist Dr. Mary Gregory has recommended that you get a dental filling it’s important to arm yourself with knowledge about your upcoming treatment.
What is a dental filling?
A filling is used to fill a cavity after your dentist in Arlington, VA has removed tooth decay. Its primary function is to restore both the tooth’s function and shape while also preventing the progression of tooth decay.
What is a dental filling made out of?
There are many materials from which to choose when it comes to getting a dental filling. Each material has its pros and cons so it’s always a good idea to discuss your options with us beforehand to determine which one is right for you.
Here are the most common materials used:
- Amalgam (a mix of silver, tin and other metals)
- Composite resin (the traditional tooth-colored filling)
What should I expect when getting my tooth filled in Arlington?
Once we have determined that you have a cavity we will numb the area with a local anesthesia. Once the anesthesia has taken effect we will use a dental drill to remove the decayed portions of the tooth. Once all decay has been removed we will fill the cavity with your preferred dental filling.
While amalgam fillings tend to last longer they don’t offer the same natural look of composite resin, which tend to be the more popular choice. When getting a composite resin filling we will apply multiple layers and then use a special light beam to harden each layer, being sure to shape and trim when necessary until the tooth is completely filled.
What should I expect after my procedure?
Your mouth may remain numb for a couple hours after your treatment so it’s important to stay away from any hot foods or drinks, which can accidentally burn you.
Some fillings can also be more sensitive to extreme temperatures for a few days or even a few weeks after being placed. If you are experiencing these issues feel free to talk to us about ways to reduce your tooth sensitivity.
If you have any questions about dental fillings or your upcoming visit don’t hesitate to call Dr. Gregory’s office in Arlington, VA. Mary E. Gregory DDS Family Dentistry is here for you.