Filling cavities is one of the things that first come to mind when someone thinks about a dentist. Sadly, it is also one of the reasons that people will finally visit a dentist. Instead of fixing cavities, though, there are ways to help prevent them. One way Dentists in Apopka, FL prevent tooth decay of molars through the use of sealants in combination with normal brushing and flossing, eating well, fluoride treatments, and dental visits. The need for fillings should be avoided if at all possible. The pain, bad breath, the need for drilling, followed by filling, can all be very unpleasant.
There are four main types of dental fillings that your dentist might use. When a cavity is first discovered, your dentist might fill it with a softer, and more temporary, compound called ZOE. ZOE is short for Zinc Oxide and Eugenol. Eugenol is found in clove oil, which has been used for centuries for toothache pain, although it can be harsh after a while on gums. This filling dries after about an hour, and will last anywhere from a few days to a few months. However, this filling is only temporary and is just to help you deal with the pain from the cavity, while keeping the cavity from increasing in size.
Dentists around Apopka, FL say having cavities don’t only cause pain, they also weaken your teeth and make it much more likely to lose a tooth. When your dentist fills your cavities with a more permanent filling, he or she might use a compound that is white. These are resinous compounds called composite fillings. They are plastic and not as long-lasting as metal fillings. However, these don’t have the mercury that metal fillings have become known for.
Some people are wary of the composite fillings because they have heard that they contain BPA, a compound that mimics estrogen and can cause behavioral changes. That is only half of the story, though. BPA is in the composite fillings, but at the beginning stages, the BPA is combined with another chemical that binds it and keeps it from leeching into the person’s mouth. It is made inert, and cannot cause any harm to the person after it is chemically bound. This is why most Dentists in Apopka, FL now prefer the composite fillings over the metal ones.
Metal fillings that contain small amounts of mercury are still available, and while longer lasting, many people do not want them any longer. One metal that might be chosen by some, and is a bit more expensive, is gold. Gold fillings do not contain mercury. Replacing fillings that contain mercury was a common practice with many dentists for a while. Dentists in Apopka, FL recommend a procedure that does not replace these fillings unless they need replacing because they are loose or have decay around them. This is because the amount of mercury that leaches from these is actually a lot less than what was previously thought.
Another type of filling that isn’t done often by Apopka, FL Dentists except where the patient wants the filling to blend in with the natural coloration of the tooth involved is porcelain. While this is a very durable material, it can be too rigid for some foods, and cannot shrink or expand with the tooth when exposed to hot or cold foods. If porcelain cracks, it must be replaced fairly quickly. Front teeth are commonly repaired with porcelain and porcelain veneers can also be used to help change the color of the teeth, if desired.
Many think of sealants as something elementary school children have, but adults can have them, too. These help prevent cavities by keeping food particles from becoming embedded in the natural crevices of the molars. Sealants can’t be applied to non-molars, or to the sides of molars. Chewing, which forces two teeth together to cut and grind food would quickly wear sealants off if placed on the tops of non-molars. The sealants are not placed on the chewing surface.
These are commonly painted on when children have their new molars, around six years old and about six years later, around age twelve or thirteen. This is when the molars are first coming in, with the primary ones first, around kindergarten, and the permanent ones erupting later, in late middle school or early high school. The tooth is first etched in the grooves and crevices to allow the sealant a place to adhere to. Teeth are naturally very smooth, and this is a natural defense against decay.
It’s the crevices that help us chew food that can be a two-way street. Easier chewing but an attractive place for food particles and the bacteria that feeds on them to hide from a toothbrush. They are said to last about ten years, although many do not. Each time a child to visit Dentists in Apopka, FL, he or she should check to see that the sealants are in good shape, and not peeling off. If they are, it’s simple enough to re-apply the sealants needed. Re-etching with acid may or may not be needed.
Teeth that have cavities are not sealed. It’s very important that sealants are placed before decay can happen. Dentists in Atlantic Beach, FL have also stated that filling teeth, even when done by an expert dentist, can weaken teeth. Filling cavities is also much more expensive. It’s also very important to remember to brush and floss, and to use a fluoride supplement if your area does not have fluoridated water, to prevent cavities, even if sealants are in place. This is because other teeth are not protected by sealants, and neither are the sides of the molars. Dentists in Apopka, Florida can help you decide which type of filling is best for you if you do have any cavities, and they can also help you prevent them with sealants.