How Dental Fillings Work

beautiful smile with a pointAccording to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), cavities affect 92% of adults in the United States ages 20-64. If you’re among them, there’s a chance you may have had your cavity treated with a metal (silver) filling. Also known as amalgam, metal fillings are a mixture of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy containing silver, tin, copper, zinc, and other trace metals. Since the late 1800s, amalgam has been a popular dental filling material for its durability. Today, metal fillings are no longer the optimal treatment for cavities, and tooth-colored dental fillings from your Miller, IN dentist, Dr. Nicholas Cain, provide a more effective and more natural-looking solution.

Stop the Cavity!

Tooth decay is the disease that causes cavities to form in your teeth. As an internal tooth infection, tooth decay begins with the excessive buildup of dental plaque, and as it progresses, it eats away your tooth’s structure, causing cavities to develop. Since tooth decay is progressive, the infection will continue and the cavity will grow larger until your dentist stops it. Dr. Cain will remove the infected tooth structure and thoroughly clean the cavity of any lingering bacteria to prevent the spread of infection. To reinforce the weakened tooth, Dr. Cain will fill the cavity with a manmade material, or a dental filling.

Metal vs. Resin—Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Aside from its conspicuous appearance, metal amalgam possesses a few other faults that can hinder its effectiveness as a dental filling. Metal tends to change shape in extreme temperature changes, expanding with heat and contracting in the cold. By contrast, your tooth is inflexible, and the changing shape of a metal filling can damage it, or create spaces between the filling and tooth that can allow bacteria into the tooth’s interior. Composite resin, which is tinted to match your tooth’s color, can be bonded to your tooth’s surface, more effectively sealing and reinforcing your tooth.

About Nicholas Cain, DDS:

Dr. Nicholas Cain has been fascinated with the art and science of dentistry since an early age after long talks with his uncle, who was a practicing dentist in Tennessee. After earning his dental degree from the Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Dr. Cain served at his family’s practice in Tennessee, learning from his childhood mentors and further honing his skills. Recently, Dr. Cain returned to his native northwest Indiana to open his own practice, and continues to provide excellent cosmetic, preventive, and restorative dentistry to the community that raised him. To schedule your family’s next dental appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.