Cavities are caused by tooth decay, a bacterial infection that eats away at the inner portion of the tooth. When this occurs, a treatment, such as a filling, is often needed to restore the tooth back to health.
A filling is a procedure that involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and filling the space to protect the tooth from further damage. Dr. Rowntree features durable tooth-colored resin that restores the structural integrity of the tooth.
How to Prevent Cavities
The best way to prevent cavities is to protect your smile with effective daily home care and visiting Dr. Rowntree for checkups twice a year. Daily brushing and flossing will remove plaque and other debris that could otherwise feed the bacteria that causes cavities.
During your regular checkups, our hygienist will remove tartar, the rough substance that sticks to your teeth. This is important because tartar is a haven for the bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. We’ll also polish your teeth, which doesn’t just make them shine, it also makes it more difficult for cavity-causing bacteria to penetrate the outer layer of enamel that protects your teeth.
What is a Filling?
During your regular checkups, we provide x-rays and a dental examination to check for signs of tooth decay. The earlier we discover tooth decay, the easier it is to treat the cavity, which is the damage caused by decay.
Dr. Rowntree will treat your cavity by removing the decayed part of the tooth and then fill the empty space to fortify the tooth and protect it from further damage. Our tooth-colored composite resin is an excellent material for filling a cavity for many reasons:
- The filling bonds directly to your teeth
- It’s stronger than traditional amalgam fillings
- A greater portion of your tooth is preserved
- It’s extremely durable
- The filling matches the color of your teeth so it’s virtually invisible
- The process can be completed in a single office visit
When a cavity is allowed to progress without getting the proper care, it can grow so large that it cannot be treated with a standard filling. In these cases, Dr. Rowntree will elect to use an onlay, inlay, or a crown to restore the affected tooth. Both onlays and inlays are designed to fill the area between the cusps of a tooth. The difference is that an onlay restores the tooth’s biting surface in addition to its inner region.
However, when the damage caused by the cavity is too extensive to restore with an onlay or an inlay, a crown may be necessary. A crown is a cap that’s cemented to the tooth in order to restore it and protect it from further damage. Crowns can also be used to restore a tooth following root canal surgery or repair a tooth that’s been broken or cracked due to physical trauma.