Did our Lumberton, NC, dentist, Dr. Colin Osborne, III, discover a cavity during your last dental checkup? It’s a good thing you keep up with your routine exams so we can catch these issues before they cause more serious problems. Since most people will deal with a cavity at some point during their lifetime it’s important that you understand what goes into removing the decay and restoring the tooth.
How does a cavity happen?
We all have bacteria in our mouths, no matter how well we brush. Of course, these bacteria aren’t always friendly and whenever we consume sugar and starches the bacteria turns these foods into acids. This acid then eats away at healthy tooth enamel. Every time you take a bite of a sugary or starchy treat you cause another acid attack to take over. As you might imagine, these acid attacks can create holes in the tooth over time. These holes are called cavities.
What does a dental filling do?
When our Lumberton general dentist detects decay during your routine checkup the first thing we will need to do is remove the decay so that it doesn’t continue to spread. In order to remove decay, we will need to apply a local anesthesia to the area to numb the region before we start. Then we will remove the diseased enamel and dentin and disinfect the area.
Once the decay has been completely removed we will need to restore the tooth by placing a dental filling. Dental fillings are often made from a tooth-colored material known as composite resin. This material can be matched to the shade of the tooth and it is completely moldable, so when the filling is applied it is placed and then shaped over the holes of the tooth. This composite resin filling will be applied in layers. With each new layer, we will shape and trim it before hardening it with a dental light.
How long do fillings last?
While fillings are certainly tough they won’t last forever. Of course, if you maintain a healthy smile and practice good oral hygiene then you could have your fillings for up to 10 years or more. Coming in every six months for routine cleanings will give our dentist the chance to check the health of your filling and to determine when it’s time to replace it with a new filling.
No matter whether you are experiencing a toothache or you just have questions about getting a dental filling in Lumberton, NC, it’s important that you have a dental team by your side to provide you with the care you need whenever you need it most. We are here to meet all of your dental needs.