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Dental Cavities Los Angeles

Dental cavities (also known as dental caries) may be painful—but not necessarily in the beginning; if you suspect you have teeth that have the tell-tale tiny holes (caused by bacteria that feed on sugar), it’s critical see a dentist immediately.

22% of American adults have had at least one cavity, making having dental caries (as this is technically known) the most common disease except for the common cold.

Cavities need to be detected by a dentist’s careful oral exam, digital x-ray in order to keep them from seriously damaging your teeth. If decay is unchecked, the tooth will advance to serious infection which may lead to root canal and/or extraction. Neglecting oral decay can lead to gum disease, deterioration of the jaw bone, and loss of other teeth.

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Types of Cavity Fillings

Many options are available for tooth fillings, all have pros and cons. Types of fillings include gold, silver amalgams and tooth-colored composite materials.

Amalgam fillings have been used by dentists for more than a century, it is the most researched material used for filling cavities. Amalgam fillings are strong and are therefore ideal for filling cavities in the posterior of the mouth, most commonly, molars. They are made of a combination of several metallic elements, amalgam fillings can be noticeable when you laugh, smile or open your mouth. They are the least expensive of all cavity-filling materials.

Composite Fillings sometimes referred to filled resins, these fillings feature a combination of glass or quarts filler and can be made to match the color of your tooth. Composite fillings are also fairly durable and are ideal for small to mid-size restorations in areas of your mouth that perform moderate chewing.

Many patients also want to replace silver-colored amalgam fillings containing mercury because concerns have been raised about their potential impact on long-term health. Los Angeles dentist Dr. Elyassi and his team remove amalgam fillings safely and substituting a non-toxic resin composite filling.

Tooth-colored are more attractive, has fluoride to prevent further decay, and the resin (a type of plastic) strengthens the tooth. Replacements require a mold to be taken and sent to a top dental lab to design an exact fit (requiring a second visit to finalize).

Gold Fillings are also used to fill tooth cavities. Gold is the most expensive material compared to amalgam and composite fillings. Gold and amalgam fillings can last as long as 10-15 years before they need to be replaced.

Ceramic Fillings are usually made of porcelain and are tooth colored and may less likely to stain over the composite filling. The drawback to ceramic fillings is that they are as expensive as gold fillings.

Glass Ionomer fillings are a blend of acrylic and glass to create a cavity filling that releases fluoride to help protect the teeth, these fillings are the most commonly used restoration at Wilshire Dental Studio. These fillings will last at least five years.

To have an examination to see whether you have cavities that need to be treated and find out the status of your overall oral health, call Wilshire Smile Studio now for an appointment: 323-DENTIST (336-8478).

When to replace a cavity filling?

Tooth fillings usually last for many years before they need to be replaced. Fillings can wear out over years of chewing, clenching and grinding your teeth and require premature replacements. If you notice signs of wear on your fillings (cracks or worn areas) address these concerns during your regular check-ups or call our office for an appointment before you are due for your cleaning.

Neglect to maintain your fillings may lead to root canals, cracked teeth and pain. Your fillings may (amalgams) shrink and cause leakage. We may recommend replacing your fillings with crown restorations.

Potential problems with cavity fillings

It is very important to know about potential problems to prevent further damage. These are some complications to watch for.

  • Infection. Cavities may shrink and will pull away from the tooth. Visit our office as soon as possible to address the problems
  • Damage. Fillings can crack, break and fail. This can be caused by pressure while chewing, sports and life accidents. It is very important to address these problems with our office as soon as possible.
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