Tooth decay is a common dental problem for people of all ages. Left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss, infection, and other serious dental problems. The best treatment for tooth decay depends on the extent of the decay and a few other factors. As your local Burbank dentist, we’ll discuss the best treatments for tooth decay, including fillings, same-day porcelain inlay/onlay, and why silver amalgam fillings are no longer recommended.
Dental fillings are the most common treatment for tooth decay. The procedure involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and filling the cavity with a composite resin.
First, your dentist will numb the affected area with a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort during the procedure. Then, they will use a dental drill to remove decayed portion of the tooth, leaving behind a clean and healthy area. Once the decay is removed, your dentist will shape the cavity for filling material.
Composite resin is today’s most common material for fillings because it is durable, long-lasting, and aesthetically pleasing. It is made of a mixture of plastic and glass tinted to match the color of your natural teeth. Your dentist will carefully apply the filling material to the prepared cavity and shape it to match the natural contours of your tooth.
Dental fillings can be completed in a single visit to the dentist’s office, making them convenient for patients with busy schedules.
Same-Day Porcelain Inlay/Onlay
For more extensive decay, your dentist may recommend a same-day porcelain inlay/onlay. This procedure involves using advanced technology to create a custom-made restoration that fits precisely into the cavity. Porcelain inlays/onlays are strong, durable, and can last for many years.
Unlike traditional fillings, porcelain inlays/onlays are custom-made in a dental laboratory and usually require two visits. However, advancements in dental technology have made it possible to create these restorations in a single visit, known as a same-day porcelain inlay/onlay.
Why Silver Amalgam Fillings are No Longer Recommended
Silver amalgam fillings were once the standard treatment for tooth decay. However, they are no longer recommended due to concerns about their safety and appearance. Silver amalgam fillings contain mercury, a toxic substance that can pose serious health risks, particularly for pregnant women and young children. In addition, silver amalgam fillings are generally more noticeable than composite and porcelain fillings. They can also cause the tooth to become discolored over time.
The best treatment for tooth decay depends on the extent of the decay and the patient’s needs. For mild to moderate decay, fillings are a quick and easy treatment option that can be completed in a single visit. For more extensive decay, same-day porcelain inlay/onlay may be recommended, a strong and durable restoration lasting many years. If you are experiencing tooth decay, please visit our dental office in Los Angeles, CA, as soon as possible to prevent further damage and discuss potential treatment options.