Protect Your Mouth From Cavities
Your mouth is its own microbiome — it has organisms that help break down the food you consume, transfer nutrients to the rest of your body, and protect your body from foreign substances. However, some bacteria leftover from food, beverages, and smoke can harm your teeth, causing hollow spots called cavities and other diseases to form if left untreated. That’s why Dr. Shlafer recommends tooth-colored fillings to protect your teeth from further damage.
What is a Composite Filling?
Composite (or tooth-colored) fillings are a safe, attractive, and effective treatment for cavities. They are made of a composite resin material designed to fill in the hollow spaces that cavities cause to shield your tooth from debris and protect it from potential decay.
Many patients prefer these tooth-colored solutions to traditional amalgam fillings because they’re color-matched to your natural tooth color. We create them to blend seamlessly with your smile, making them an attractive alternative.
Plus, composite fillings don’t carry the health hazards of traditional amalgam fillings, which are filled with mercury, require special protocols to place them safely, and can cause allergic reactions in some patients. They’re also resistant to temperature changes thanks to our durable porcelain, so patients experience fewer tooth sensitivities.
Placing Your Composite Filling
Not only can your composite fillings be placed within one visit, but there’s also no downtime following the procedure. To provide you with a painless experience, Dr. Shlafer will administer a local anesthetic during the procedure. Our practice also offers a variety of sedation options to ensure your comfort during your visit. Once you are relaxed, we’ll thoroughly clean the infected tooth and remove any tooth decay to prepare it to receive the filling. In the event we find decay near the tooth nerves, we’ll administer a special medication as an additional layer of protection.
After the tooth has been cleaned and prepared, we’ll place the composite material in layers. With each layer, we’ll use an ultraviolet light or a laser will harden each layer. We’ll place, shape and polish the filling to restore the look and function of your tooth. From there, you’re free to carry on with the rest of your day and can resume your normal oral hygiene routine.
Composite fillings can last from five to ten years. The longevity of your filling depends on a few factors:
- Location: Fillings placed towards the back tend to have shorter lifespans.
- Proper maintenance: Keeping a consistent at-home oral routine by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day in combination with biannual visits with Dr. Shlafer will preserve your dental fillings.
- Pressure on the tooth: If you tend to grind your teeth or suffer from bruxism, that can apply too much pressure on your teeth and damage your fillings. Dr. Shlafer may recommend a mouthguard or nightguard to protect your filling.
Following the procedure, Dr. Shlafer may recommend avoiding solid foods for up to 24 hours after the procedure. Patients should also avoid chewy, hard, or sticky foods for up to two weeks to give themselves time to adjust to the new filling.
Some patients experience some tooth sensitivity to cold or hot sensations. This is normal, and once you’ve become accustomed to the filling, the sensitivity will subside. It’s also important to brush and floss your teeth as normal to prevent the build-up of bacteria as this can lead to additional cavities.
Keeping your mouth free of debris by brushing and flossing daily can keep cavities at bay.
When food is left sitting in your mouth, it can develop unhealthy bacteria called plaque. This substance is a thin, white film that sits on your teeth and can be removed with regular brushing and flossing.
If not removed, plaque will harden into tartar, a substance that can’t be removed without the assistance of a dentist. If left unchecked, the plaque and tartar eat away at the enamel, or protective outer layer of the tooth, creating a cavity.
So it’s important to not only develop a consistent at-home dental regime but also visit our office at least twice a year to ensure your teeth remain free of plaque and tartar.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Contact us at (248) 781-0040 to schedule your complimentary implant consultation, or stop by to meet our exceptional team of dentists. We proudly serve patients from Westland, Livonia, Birmingham, Novi, Farmington Hills, and throughout Michigan.
Don’t wait, come and see how dentistry is done differently at Roman Shlafer, DDS.