How Will I Know if I Should visit a San Diego Dental office for a Cavity?
Patients are sometimes taken off-guard when they learn that they need a few cavitiy fillings but they don’t have any symptoms. It is far better to treat a small cavity than to wait until they have symptoms (like pain). By the time there are symptoms, the cavity may have spread to infect the dental pulp, necessitating a root canal procedue or an extraction to eliminate the infection. Regular dental examinations, at least twice a year, will greatly reduce the likelihood that a dental cavity will go undetected and spread, causing pain and infecting the dental pulp.
How Does my San Diego Dental Office Detect Cavities?
During a clinical exam, the dentist uses a hand held instrument called an explorer to probe the tooth surface for cavities. If the explorer “catches,” that means the instrument has found a weak, acid damaged part of the tooth, a dental cavity. Dentists can also use a visual examination to detect cavities. Teeth that are discolored, usually brown or black, can sometimes indicate a dental cavity. Dental x-rays, especially check-up or bitewing x-rays, are very useful in finding cavities that are wedged between teeth, or under the gum-line.
What dental material is best for my teeth?
Dental amalgam or silver fillings have been around for over 150 years. Amalgam is composed of silver, tin, copper, mercury, and zinc. Amalgam fillings are relatively inexpensive, durable, and time-tested. On the flip side, they are considered unaesthetic because they blacken over time and can give teeth a gray appearance, and they do not strengthen the tooth. Some people worry about the potential for mercury in dental amalgam to leak out and cause a wide variety of ailments, but research does not bear this fear out.
Composite, resin, or white fillings have been around for about two decades. They have the advantage of requiring a more conservative tooth preparation, (less drilling required), can have a strengthening effect on the tooth, and are very aesthetic. Porcelain and Gold is sometimes used for dental fillings as well. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Please call our office to find out the best solution for you.
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