Dental Fillings An Overview
Dental fillings are a standard procedure offered as part of our comprehensive dental services. Dr. Dall’Almo uses dental fillings to repair damage caused to the teeth by decay. Tooth decay compromises the integrity of the structure of the tooth. Dental fillings are used to prevent further damage to the natural tooth structure.
Dr. Dall’Olmo strives to conserve the natural tooth structure. Retaining as much of the natural tooth as possible helps to stabilize the overall well-being and function of the bite and jaw bone and supports long-term oral health. Through patient education, preventive dental care, and established patient-dentist relationships, Dr. Dall’Omlmo offers thorough, quality dental care.
Inlays and Onlays
Sometimes there are teeth that have more decay than a dental filling can treat. If the area is too large, the filling won’t be stable enough for your daily life. But the decay may not be severe enough to warrant a dental crown, either. In these cases, inlays and onlays come into play. They’re the perfect middle ground between a filling and a dental crown.
Inlays treat the biting surface of your tooth in between the cusps. It would go down into the hollow of a molar, for instance, but doesn’t include the cusps at all. An onlay treats both the biting surface and the cusps. It’s sometimes called a partial dental crown for this purpose. Like with fillings, your tooth is prepared the same way.
What Causes Dental Cavities?
Cavities are caused by tooth decay and develop over time. When you’re eating a lot of sugary or starchy foods and aren’t brushing your teeth well, a substance called plaque forms. It’s a clear, sticky film that lays on your teeth. If you continue to leave it go, it hardens into tartar. Tartar acts like a shield, keeping those bacteria on your teeth and making it harder to get rid of them.
In the plaque, bacteria feed off of sugar and produce acidic byproducts. Erosion starts to form small holes in your enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth. This is the first stage of a cavity. The enamel continues to wear away until the bacteria make it to the dentin, the next layer of your tooth. Since it’s softer, the acid can get through it faster. It has nerve endings in it, too, causing the pain you experience when you have a cavity.
The bacteria continue to eat their way through your tooth until they reach the inner layer of the dental pulp. This is a soft tissue that contains nerves and blood vessels for your tooth. The pulp gets swollen and irritated, causing more pain and pressure.
The biggest factor for cavities is your diet and not brushing your teeth well enough. The molars are also the most susceptible to cavities because of all of their nooks and crannies. Plus, they’re the teeth we use most for chewing. Dry mouth brought on by medications can increase the likelihood because you don’t have enough saliva to wash bacteria away.