When you visit our Dental Office in Las Vegas for a dental exam one of the first things we look for are cavities or basically parts of the tooth that have been decayed and are diseased. Decay can happen on any surface of the tooth.
Sometimes decayed tooth structure can only be detected by x-rays and sometimes it is easily detected by the naked eye, depending on the location of the decay. That is why it is important to have dental x-rays taken periodically to detect the hidden areas of decay.
Decay can start in a tooth for many reasons such as poor oral hygiene, excessive use of sugary foods and drinks and not having enough fluoride during childhood. Genetics also have a role in your tooth structure. Some people are born with stronger teeth while some might have weaker teeth and therefore more prone to getting decay.
Drug abuse is another reason for decay in teeth. Certain prescribed drugs can cause the mouth to become dry, lack of saliva can also be a factor in tooth decay. Sometimes decay can happen under old restorations.
For example if you have a dental crown or dental filling that is old, sometimes bacteria can leak underneath the margins of these restorations and start new decay, in this case the dental crown or dental filling needs to be replaced.
You may not have any problems with your teeth but when decay is small it has little or no symptoms. Teeth with larger decay can become sensitive to temperature or bite and sometimes these decayed parts are so large and close to the nerve that a root canal may be needed.
If you have been told that you have cavities it means that you have decayed teeth. In this case to fix the problem you need to get a dental filling. A dental filling can be tooth colored (in this case the material used is a composite resin) or silver colored (in this case the material used is called amalgam which has mercury). Many people are afraid the amalgam fillings may be toxic for their health, however they shouldn’t worry.
For many reasons Dr. J only places the tooth colored fillings. They are more esthetically pleasing, they bond to the tooth, they don’t contain mercury and with the new resin materials strength is no longer an issue. In the past more amalgam fillings were used in the back teeth for more strength. Today tooth colored fillings can be placed successfully in the back teeth and will last for years.
Dental Fillings in our Las Vegas Office
Dr. J will start by numbing the tooth that is being filled. The decayed parts of the tooth will be removed using special instruments. Once all decay is removed Dr. J will prepare the tooth for the filling, basically the tooth structure will be primed and ready for the resin filling to be bonded in the tooth.
Once the filling is placed in the tooth it will be cured using a UV light and will immediately set. This is one of the advantages of these materials since you can start eating right away after your appointment is over. Your bite will be checked and the filling will be adjusted accordingly before you leave so that you can chew comfortably. It is normal to experience some sensitivity for a few days after a filling has been done.
If you have been told that you need fillings but you are not sure about the diagnosis, please feel free to visit Dr. J for a second opinion.