Let’s talk cavities.
Did you know that nearly 95% of people will get a cavity at some point in their life? It’s true!
When tooth decay is left untreated, it can lead to serious problems like:
- Infections and abscesses
- Bad toothaches
- Gum disease
- Tooth loss
But luckily, cavities are easily fixed with the tooth-colored fillings available at The Winning Smile Dental Group. They’re nothing like the silver fillings you might’ve seen in the past. We want you to know why they’re so great — not just for your health but for your confidence, too!
Prevention is best
Here’s the thing: as great as tooth-colored fillings are, we want to help you do your best to avoid getting a cavity in the first place. But it’s hard! The foods you eat and drink, your genetics, and other factors all contribute to your risk of tooth decay and cavities.
- Don’t snack frequently – Regular snacking changes the pH balance of your mouth, making it more acidic and more susceptible to decay.
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks – Yes that means fruit juices, too. They’re nearly as sugary as most sodas.
- Brush and floss daily – Brush twice a day for 2 minutes (an electric toothbrush is best) and floss daily. If you need help perfecting your technique, talk to your dentist at your next appointment.
- Don’t fall behind on your check-ups – Come see us twice a year for an exam and cleaning. Cleanings get rid of decay-causing bacteria that can’t be removed by brushing and flossing alone.
What are “tooth-colored” fillings?
For years, dentists relied on mercury amalgam fillings to fix cavities. You probably know them by their more common name, “silver fillings.” Dentists used these silver fillings because the amalgam was readily available, relatively easy to work with, and inexpensive. Unfortunately, it also had some drawbacks. Obviously, your natural teeth aren’t silver so amalgam fillings never looked like the real thing. Additionally, mercury fillings weren’t all that durable and often compromised the structure of the tooth beneath the filling, leading to cracks and fractures down the road.
Fortunately, there’s a better option. At The Winning Smile Dental Group, we rely on mercury-free and metal-free fillings. They’re known by a few names, like composite fillings, white fillings, or tooth-colored fillings. As the name implies, they’re not silver. In fact, they can be custom colored to match the color of your natural teeth. They’re also made from a safe and natural biocompatible resin that’s similar to porcelain.
Tooth-colored fillings look great
Your teeth are your own — they don’t look like anybody else’s teeth. And there’s nothing natural-looking about a silver metal filling. That’s why our dentists at The Winning Smile Dental Group shape and color every single tooth-colored filling to look just like one of your natural teeth.
They’re durable and built to last
Tooth-colored fillings are sometimes called “bonded fillings” because they’re bonded directly to your healthy tooth structure. This helps your filling stay firmly in place. In fact, with proper care, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental exams and fillings, you can expect your filling to last for as long as 10-20 years.
But there’s another benefit to these tooth-colored bonded fillings. Tooth-colored fillings actually strengthen the remaining tooth structure and offer protection against chips, cracks, and fractures. For this reason alone, tooth-colored fillings are a great investment in your dental health.
Smaller is better
With modern diagnostic technology, our dentists are often able to catch cavities very early. Sometimes we find them before you notice any pain at all! When this happens, the filling needed to fix the decay can be very, very small.
Old-fashioned metal fillings required dentists to grind away a lot of your natural tooth structure. This isn’t ideal. Modern composite fillings require the removal of a minimal amount of tooth structure. This allows you to keep as much of your natural tooth structure as possible.
Yes, tooth-colored fillings are a bit more expensive up-front than silver fillings. But because of their durability they’re actually a better long-term investment in your health. If you don’t have insurance to help pay for your care, ask about our in-office savings plan to help you save on fillings, exams, orthodontics, and any other needed care.
What parents need to know about kids and cavities
“Oh, it’s just a baby tooth.”
When it comes to cavities in kids, our dentists take them very seriously and you should, too. Even cavities in baby teeth need to be repaired to prevent:
- Painful infections
- Crooked and misaligned adult teeth
- Tooth loss and permanent damage to the jaw bone
We’re seeing a lot more cavities in young kids, especially those who have a bottle right before bed or those who drink a lot of fruit juice. The best thing you can do is bring your child in for their first appointment around their first birthday.
Our dentists will help you start building great lifelong dental health habits.
What to expect from a tooth-colored filling
Overall, getting a tooth-colored filling is faster and less-invasive, too. Here’s how it works:
- Gently numb your tooth and gum. Your dentist will make sure you’re comfortable before we get started. You even have the option to listen to music or watch TV during your treatment.
- Eliminate the cavity and prepare the tooth. Your dentist will remove the decay and get your tooth ready for the tooth-colored filling.
- Color, shape, and place the filling. Your dentist will create your filling, making sure it looks just like a natural tooth. Then it will be bonded securely to your tooth.
- Final adjustments and polishing. Finally, your dentist will check your bite, make any needed adjustments to the filling and polish it before sending you on your way.
Worried about a cavity? Ask yourself these questions:
- Are your teeth sensitive to hot or cold temperatures or sweet foods?
- Does it hurt to chew or bite down?
- Can you see chips or cracks in your teeth?
While these are common signs of cavities, you should know that most cavities don’t present any symptoms at all. They can only be found by an experienced dentist using high-tech diagnostic tools. That’s why regular check-ups are so important!
Schedule an appointment with The Winning Smile Dental Group today
We’ve got 3 convenient locations in Brandon, Jackson, and Flowood with convenient morning and evening hours. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.
No matter how long it’s been since your last dental appointment, we’re here to help. There’s no judgement and we’ll work hard to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible during your visit with us. Let’s work together to get your health back on track!
A native of Yazoo City, Dr. Lee Gary received his degree from Mississippi College and his Doctor of Dental Medicine from The University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry. Dr. Gary is dedicated to not only cosmetic transformations but the overall health and well-being of his patients.