I recently read about a new technique for addressing tooth decay with “smart repair,” which will both extend the life of fillings and reduce the use of mercury-based amalgams (which can pose a minor health risk).
This is an exciting development, as dental fillings deteriorate with time. If that deterioration is not addressed in a timely fashion, it can cause more serious damage to your teeth and mouth, which may even warrant a visit to your Philadelphia dental implants specialist.
Fillings for Cavities
Fillings are used to repair teeth when cavities have caused some, but not serious damage. Your dentist will remove any decay from the affected tooth, clean the cavity, and fill it. That should solve any immediate issues with the tooth, and you can expect the filling to last for at least five years, assuming no other issues or accidents, as well as proper oral care and maintenance.
Why Fillings Fail
Age is the usual reason why fillings fail. The filling substance is not designed to last indefinitely and deteriorates naturally.
But there are other reasons why fillings may fail:
A filling may fall out: Many of us know people who have lost fillings after biting or chewing something too hard or too sticky. But even a new filling may fall out if the tooth and cavity were not properly cleaned and prepped. Should the tooth itself deteriorate or fracture, that may also cause the filling to fall out.
Excessive pressure: whatever the reason, excessive and/or ongoing pressure can wear a filling down more quickly, and even cause the tooth to chip and crap. Common reasons for excessive pressure are grinding and clenching teeth. But you are not likely to notice the deterioration because it is often painless.
The New Filling Technique
This new filling technique uses bioactive glass composites for the filling. Bioactive glass composites are apparently unique for their ability to support oral health, including the release of the fluoride, calcium, and phosphate needed for the development of tooth mineral. In other words, the new fillings may actually restore what your teeth have lost due to tooth decay.
In addition to the remineralization of teeth, this bioactive glass composite also generates an alkaline environment which discourages the bacteria responsible for the initial tooth decay.
Such a potent combination of preventative systems should prolong the life of fillings while slowing tooth decay. Another advantage of this new technique is that it will eliminate the need for mercury-based amalgams.
With people living longer, this new filling technique should give everyone a little more optimism about keeping their teeth healthy over the long-term.
Take the Next Step
Want to learn if a dental implants is right for you? Schedule a consultation at Dr. Farole’s Facial Cosmetic Surgery Center in Bala Cynwyd, PA by giving us a call at (610) 668-3300 today.
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