At some point in life, you will probably need a dental filling to strengthen and protect a damaged tooth. It’s the most common procedure dentists perform, and at Elgin Family Dental, we’re pleased to offer our patients esthetically pleasing bonded tooth-colored fillings.
Dr. Carl Herring and Dr. Scott Herring offer all the preventive services you need to keep your smile healthy and beautiful restorations like dental fillings if a problem occurs. Our tooth-colored composite fillings are strong and durable, but our patients love them because they look so natural that they’re virtually invisible when placed.
The Anatomy of a Tooth
If you want to understand how cavities start so you can prevent them, it helps to understand the anatomy of your tooth:
- Dental enamel – This is the outermost layer of your tooth and is extremely strong, even stronger than bone.
- Dentin – Beneath enamel is a softer, yellowish layer called dentin.
- Pulp – The innermost part of your tooth contains soft tissue, which consists of nerves, blood vessels, and tissue that keeps your tooth alive.
How Decay Occurs
As you go through your day, a layer of bacteria-laden biofilm called plaque collects on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque love to feed on carbohydrates, especially sugars, and as they do, they produce acid as a byproduct.
If you don’t routinely interrupt this process by rinsing your mouth or brushing, the acid sits on your teeth, eating through the dental enamel and causing a cavity. If we don’t treat the decay with a filling, it will eventually work its way into the dentin and then into the pulp of your tooth and cause extreme pain and possible loss of the tooth.
How We Place Tooth-Colored Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings are a composite of glass and resin particles that very closely resemble the translucent appearance of dental enamel. Since composite fillings look so natural, our doctors can create seamless repairs that even you won’t be able to detect.
The first step is to apply a topical anesthetic to numb your mouth, so you don’t feel anything. Next, we remove the decayed portion of your tooth. Since we bond composites directly to your tooth, we don’t need to remove any healthy tooth structure to create a durable filling. We dry the tooth completely; then our doctors expertly place your filling. In the final step, we use a curing light to harden and set the material.
Please Call to Arrange an Appointment
If it’s time for your routine exam and cleaning, please call our Elgin, TX dental office to arrange an appointment. If you have a toothache, please call us right away at (512) 285-3322, and we will make arrangements to see you as soon as possible, usually the same day.