How long should a cavity affect your smile? Until you see the dentist or years and even decades after the fact?
The duration of a cavity’s effect on your smile may have more to do with the type of filling you have than the tooth decay that caused it.
At Pioneer Dental Group, we understand that no one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you should feel self-conscious because of the metallic glimmer in your teeth. Instead, we use cosmetic bonding to restore the appearance and the function of your tooth at the same time.
If you live in or near Oregon City, OR, call or stop by our dentist office to learn more about this service.
What Is Cosmetic Bonding?
Cosmetic bonding is a different way of dealing with the small problems that affect your teeth.
The bonding material is a tooth-colored resin. We can use it in a variety of ways to repair your teeth. Here are some examples:
- Chipped teeth — Teeth can get chipped in more ways than we could list. You could trip and fall. You could bite into a piece of hard candy. Someone could throw a baseball or softball that strikes you in the mouth.
You get the idea.
The bonding material is layered to rebuild the part of your tooth that chipped away. When it’s finished, your tooth will look as good as new.
- Worn down teeth — Wear and tear happen to teeth just like to anything else that you may use every day.
Habits, like biting your fingernails or using your teeth to open things, can cause your teeth to wear down faster. If you clench or grind your teeth, that can wear away the enamel on your teeth.
This is another case where cosmetic bonding can restore your teeth to their original appearance.
- Filling cavities — Fillings are needed when tooth decay eats into your tooth. This is what causes cavities. If you’ve never had one, that’s great, but 9 in 10 Americans will have at least one cavity during their lives.
All fillings serve a similar purpose. After the decay is removed, a filling material will restore the full function of your tooth, and it serves as a seal to protect your tooth from more decay.
Gold and amalgam fillings (more on these later) do that job, but they are made of metal. These fillings will protect your teeth, but they also signal to other people that you once had a cavity in that tooth.
With cosmetic bonding, we can create tooth-colored fillings. This way you get the same protective advantages with the added benefit of concealing the location of your cavity.
- Replacing old fillings — If there is a downside to fillings it’s that they don’t last forever. Over time, they can crack or chip. They may start to separate from your teeth, and they may even fall out.
When any of those things happen, your tooth becomes more vulnerable to a new cavity. If bacteria gets into your old cavity, then you won’t be able to remove them by brushing or flossing.
Amalgam Vs. White Fillings
As we mentioned earlier, amalgam and our cosmetic bonding material both can be used to fill cavities and protect your teeth.
Amalgam is made from a blend of mercury and other metals (copper, silver, or tin). Since the ingredients in amalgam fillings are metal, it’s no surprise that they can add a metallic appearance to your teeth.
Some people may be alarmed to learn there is mercury in amalgam fillings. The American Dental Association maintains that amalgam is safe to use and poses a low risk to people who have them.
Nevertheless, we know that some people will want to replace their amalgam fillings, either because of health concerns or for cosmetic reasons. We can replace your amalgam fillings with our bonding material to give you a tooth-colored filling instead.
Could Cosmetic Bonding Help You?
Cosmetic bonding is often a simple and effective method for fixing minor damage to your teeth. To learn more about our bonding, please contact Pioneer Dental Group with any questions.