Most people need white fillings at some point in their life. This procedure has become so common that it is literally the one thing most people associate with dental work. For us, this is a regularly performed procedure, often several times a day. As people are exposed to foods that are high in starch and sugar, the need for dental fillings grows. This is because a dental filling is necessary to fill a tiny hole in the tooth’s enamel, known as a cavity. Cavities are a direct result of bacterial acid secretions which cause the enamel to be worn away. Bacteria exist in their natural form in the mouth, where they tend to colonize the teeth. You can tell that you have bacteria by the thin layer on your teeth known as plaque. When this bacteria is exposed to sugars or starches, it will secret acids, and these acids ultimately are responsible for cavities. While many of our patients know how and why cavities form, very few are away that the tooth actually works constantly to avoid cavities. Using calcium and phosphate, which are naturally found in saliva, along with fluoride, and water, the teeth repair damaged enamel slowly. Unfortunately, the acid often gets overwhelming, and when this happens you get a cavity.
White fillings may seem routine, and maybe even a little boring, but there is nothing stale about the technology or the effort that is constantly being put in to improve these little tooth savers. Patients, for example, have always been more comfortable with a filling that is a natural looking. For many years, most fillings were either gold or a silver color, which stood out. To make them more attractive and natural looking, we offer a better solution. A white filling composite which consists of plastic and glass, and can be made in any color to match the surface of your teeth. These natural colored composite dental fillings made it so that you cannot even tell that you have a filling.
The largest challenge with white fillings is the occurrence of bacteria. When we clean out a cavity, we have to make sure to remove all the bacteria, completely sanitize the area, and remove any enamel that may have been compromised as well. The University of Maryland Dental School may have an innovative idea to solve this problem. They have been working on a new kind of filling that would kill any residual bacteria and allow the tooth to start healing normally. Ultimately the goal for all dental scientists is to allow the tooth to do its own work, healing naturally. This new solution incorporates both silver nano-particles and ammonia into its preparation. Each of these is known to be an antibacterial component that will kill cavity-causing bacteria instantly. While there is still a lot of testing to be done on this particular product, we are definitely moving in the direction of a more holistic approach to dental fillings. We can discuss all of these options with you in further detail when you come in for your appointment.