We’re focused on using the most advanced technology to provide the greatest benefits to our patients. This is why we use digital x-rays to produce consistently safer, better results. Our digital x-rays use at least about 50% less radiation than conventional film x-rays. The results, which appear instantly on our computer screens are of superior quality to conventional x-rays, and show us details we might not otherwise be able to see. The frequency with which you have x-rays will be determined by your doctor and hygienist to maximize your dental health.
Fillings, sometimes referred to as bonding or composite, are replacing part of one’s natural tooth structure with a restorative material. In today’s modern dentistry, fillings are generally tooth-colored rather than the silver material that was prevalent in the past. Today’s fillings come in many shades which can be matched exactly to the shade of your teeth. You may need a filling for a number of reasons:
- Repair an area with a cavity
- Repair a chip or crack
- Improve the appearance of discolored teeth
- Close gaps between teeth
- Protect a portion of the tooth's root that has been exposed when gums recede
- Correct discoloration or a misshapen area for aesthetics
There are four basic levels of decay. Some can be reversed, some can be stopped, and some cause the tooth to be taken out.
- Incipient caries- these are very small decalcifications, or soft spots, on the surfaces of teeth. If they are small enough, they can be recalcified, or hardened, with a little extra fluoride and flossing.
- Regular old cavities- these can be on the tops of teeth from food stuck in the grooves, or in between teeth from not flossing quite enough. A basic filling will get rid of the soft structure. Some temporary sensitivity can be normal after having a filling. These generally don’t cause any pain, so you may not be aware of them unless your provider detects them by looking in your mouth and at your x-rays.
- Deep cavity- these type of cavities come close to, or enter the nerve. They are usually the ones that cause pain. Even if it hasn't quite entered into the nerve, a root canal is usually necessary.
- Unrestorable- if the cavity gets too big and gets near the bone, it can really compromise the tooth. Usually, taking the tooth out is the best treatment, and then placing an implant or doing connected crowns called a bridge are good treatment options.