Tooth decay is particularly common in the U.S. In fact, only 8 percent of adults ages 20 to 64 have never had a cavity, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Fortunately, fillings and other restorations provided by your dentist in Dearborn, MI, Dr. Mahmoud Farhat of Zenith Dental Care, will help you protect your oral health if you have a cavity.
How tooth decay starts
Colorless, sticky plaque constantly covers your teeth in a bacterial film. When the bacteria are exposed to sugar or carbohydrates, a chemical reaction occurs. This reaction creates strong acids that attack your tooth enamel, causing tooth decay.
Brushing your teeth regularly and avoiding or limiting sugary treats or foods high in carbohydrates, like potato chips and white bread, will help you decrease your cavity risk. Visiting the Dearborn dental office will also help you reduce the likelihood that you'll develop a cavity.
During your twice-yearly visits, you'll receive a thorough cleaning to remove tartar and plaque from your teeth. Your dentist will also examine your teeth for signs of cavities or other problems. If tooth decay is spotted during an examination or on an X-ray, your dentist will recommend appropriate treatments.
Fillings restore your teeth
Removing the decayed part of your tooth and replacing it with a filling will prevent the decay from spreading to your other teeth or reaching your tooth pulp. Although silver amalgam fillings were once the only way to restore decayed teeth, dentists offer a more discreet option today.
Composite resin or "tooth-colored" fillings are made of powdered glass and epoxy resin and are available in shades that match your tooth color. The fillings actually strengthen your teeth by bonding to your tooth enamel.
A smaller margin of healthy tooth structure needs to be removed with composite resin fillings, which also helps improve the strength of your tooth. Unlike silver amalgam, tooth-colored fillings don't expand and contract when exposed to changing temperatures and won't crack your teeth.
If you have extensive tooth decay, your dentist may recommend an inlay, onlay or dental crown instead of a filling. These restorations are made in a dental laboratory from an impression of your mouth. Inlays fit inside the cusps of your teeth, while onlays extend beyond the cusps. A crown fits over the tooth after it's prepared, covering it on all four sides.
Are you concerned that you might have a cavity? Call your Dearborn, MI, dentist, Dr. Mahmoud Farhat of Zenith Dental Care, at (313) 406-9612 to schedule your appointment.