Treat Cavities to Restore the Health and Beauty of Your Smile
The teeth have a tough job. They are responsible for breaking down food so that it can be digested. Not only does this put a lot of wear and tear on the teeth, but it also creates an oral environment that is ideal for bacteria. While brushing and flossing are meant to rid the mouth of harmful bacteria, it is common for bacteria to build up as plaque or tartar develops on the teeth. This, in turn, can lead to tooth decay and the need for restorative dentistry treatments to repair damaged tooth enamel. Dr. Patrick Tanner offers treatment for cavities at his South Ogden, UT practice, These treatments help patients restore the strength of a decayed tooth, while maintaining the aesthetics of the smile.
If a patient has a dental cavity, the odds are that they will require a dental filling. Dental fillings are direct restorations that are most commonly used to repair teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay. A dental filling is applied directly to the dental cavity, filling in and replacing any healthy enamel that has been lost to decay. These fillings are shaped to the tooth to maintain the patient’s bite and allow for full oral functions. There are two types of dental fillings that are used to repair a dental cavity: metal fillings and tooth-colored fillings.
- Metal fillings: Metal fillings are made up of metal compounds such as silver, tin, copper, and mercury. While the amount of mercury found in metal fillings has been shown to be safe, some patients wish to avoid even trace amounts of mercury. Another downside to metal fillings is their silver color, which can negatively impact the appearance of the smile.
- Tooth-colored fillings: Tooth-colored fillings are composed of a dental composite that is free of metals. Dr. Tanner prefers tooth-colored fillings for his patients because they bond to the teeth, strengthen the teeth, and blend in with the natural teeth to maintain the appearance of the smile.
Inlays and Onlays
In the case of a medium to large sized cavity on the biting surface of the molars, an inlay or onlay can be used to restore damaged tooth enamel and strengthen the tooth. An inlay may be used if tooth decay is present only within the indented surface of the molars. An onlay is used for more severe cases of decay, and is suitable when a portion of the tooth’s cusps has also become damaged. Inlays and onlays are indirect fillings, which means they will be fabricated in a dental lab, and then bonded to the damaged tooth (much like a dental crown).
Dental crowns completely encase a damaged tooth, and are recommended when the tooth requires additional support to withstand the forces of daily biting and chewing.
Dr. Patrick Tanner offers a complete range of dental treatments that allow his patients to maintain healthy and beautiful smiles. If you would like to learn more about cavity treatments, or any of our other dental services, contact us at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!