La Mesa Fillings Provided by Expert Dental Professionals
When Should I See a Dentist about Potential Cavities or Getting Fillings in La Mesa?
When they find out they have cavities that require fillings, La Mesa patients are often surprised because they haven’t noticed any symptoms, especially tooth pain. It’s quite common for small cavities to exist without producing any symptoms at all, which is why it’s always best to detect cavities as early as possible. If you’re starting to have symptoms, the cavity may have already spread far enough to infect what’s known as the dental pulp, which is the material in the center of the tooth that contains the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. If this is the case, it may be necessary for your dentist to perform a root canal procedure or extract the tooth entirely to remove the infected tissue.
To reduce your risk of developing severe cavities that cause pain, infection, and the need for extensive procedures like these, make sure to have regular dental exams and cleanings at least twice yearly. Your dentist can detect small cavities during your routine exam and take more conservative measures, such as replacing them with fillings. In La Mesa, patients can reduce their risk of cavities by visiting the top-notch team at La Perle Dental twice a year.
How Are Cavities Detected?
When you’re having your dental exam, your dentist will first perform a visual check for signs of cavities. The dentist will also probe the surfaces of your teeth with an instrument called an explorer. With the explorer, the dentist is able to detect parts of teeth that are weak or damaged by acid—signs that typically indicate dental cavities. If portions of your teeth are discolored, that can also signify the presence of cavities. Your dentist will also likely take dental X-rays, which are extremely effective at detecting cavities between the teeth and beneath the gum line.
What’s the Best Material for My La Mesa Fillings?
When they need dental fillings, La Mesa patients have a variety of materials to choose from. For many years, dental amalgam, also known as “silver fillings,” was the most common material used to fill cavities. Amalgam fillings, which have been used for more than 150 years, appear silver, but they’re actually made of a combination of metals, including silver, mercury, tin, and copper, and some amalgam fillings also contain zinc, indium, or palladium. The use of amalgam fillings is much less common these days, and many dentists now use tooth-colored materials to restore teeth and fill cavities. However, amalgam fillings can still be useful for some dental situations because they last longer, especially in teeth that are exposed to a great deal of wear and tear from chewing and excess pressure. Amalgam is also less costly than other dental materials. However, it isn’t very aesthetically pleasing because it turns black with time, causing the teeth to look gray, and amalgam fillings don’t add strength to teeth.
By far the most popular material used in dental fillings today is composite resin, which is made of powdered glass quartz, silica, or other ceramic particles added to a resin base. Composite fillings are much more aesthetically pleasing because they match tooth color much more closely. In addition, they require your dentist to do less tooth preparation (which means less drilling), and they can actually strengthen the teeth. Dental fillings can also be done using gold or porcelain, and each of these has benefits and drawbacks. The best course of action is to work with your dentist to discover which material is best for your unique dental needs. If you need fillings in La Mesa, call on the premier professionals at La Perle Dental.
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