Restore Decayed Teeth with Tooth-colored Fillings
Dr. Steven M. Balloch can save teeth compromised by decay by placing a tooth-colored filling during an appointment at our Hartford, CT, dental practice. Tooth-colored fillings can also restore your bite and add structural support to the rest of your teeth. Dr. Balloch uses composite resin, tooth-colored fillings for the functional and aesthetic benefits they offer. In just one office visit, he can eliminate discomfort, restore function to your tooth, and preserve your smile.
What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria feed off the sugar in the food you eat, forming a filmy layer on the surface of your teeth called plaque. When this plaque is not removed through brushing and flossing, it can begin affecting your tooth’s enamel, resulting in decay, or a cavity. When left untreated, decay can lead to infection and even tooth loss.
Signs You May Need a Filling
Early signs of a cavity include a sore or painful tooth. Swollen and tender gums may accompany the sore tooth. This is indicative of severe decay and you should seek prompt treatment. If you have a cavity, you may also notice chronic bad breath, or discoloration of the affected tooth.
Getting a Tooth Filled
When you arrive for your appointment, Dr. Balloch will examine your teeth, looking for signs of decay. If necessary, he may also take x-rays to determine the extent of the decay. After administering a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area, he will then isolate the tooth and remove the decay. Once all decay is eliminated, Dr. Balloch can then begin filling the tooth with composite resin.
He will select a shade of composite resin that closely matches your tooth, making the filling virtually invisible. After filling the tooth with the material, he will hold a UV light over the tooth to harden the filling. Once complete, he will check to make sure the filling aligns properly with your bite, and will file the filling down if necessary.
Benefits of Tooth-colored Fillings
A filling reinforces the healthy structure of your tooth after decay. It also seals your tooth, protecting it from future decay-causing bacteria. Tooth-colored fillings offer many benefits over traditional, silver amalgam fillings. While amalgam fillings require the removal of not just the decay but parts of your healthy tooth structure, composite resin fillings do not.
The material is customizable so that your filling closely matches the natural shade of your tooth.
Amalgam fillings often leave visible, silver patches on your teeth, which can make patients feel self-conscious about their smiles. Composite resin fillings, on the other hand, are white (tooth-colored). The material is customizable so that your filling closely matches the natural shade of your tooth. This makes the filling invisible to the naked eye, so you can smile and laugh with confidence.
Save Your Natural Tooth
If you are suffering from a sensitive or painful tooth, you may have a cavity. Early treatment allows Dr. Balloch to use the least invasive methods possible. If you allow the decay to advance, you may require a dental crown, or root canal therapy if the tooth is infected.