Conservatively Treat Decay with Dental Fillings
Over time, the foods and drinks we consume can cause plaque to build up on the surface or in between our teeth. This plaque can eventually break down the enamel layer of our teeth, causing cavities. At our River Edge, NJ, practice, Dr. Stephen J. Malki can restore teeth that have mild to moderate decay with dental fillings. These are a conservative treatment that can eliminate cavity-forming bacteria from your teeth. At Malki Dental, we use composite resin that can be matched to the natural color of your teeth to ensure that your filling will be as discreet and natural-looking as possible.
Symptoms of a Cavity
While many patients experience pain or other symptoms when they have a cavity, others may experience little or no discomfort. For this reason, you should schedule regular dental exams and cleanings to ensure your continued oral health. If, however, you notice symptoms of a cavity, you should seek treatment as soon as possible. These symptoms could include:
- Pain when biting down
- Pain when eating or drinking something hot or cold
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth
Receiving a Dental Filling
Prior to placing a dental filling, Dr. Malki will numb your tooth and the surrounding gum tissue with a local anesthetic to ensure your total comfort during the procedure. Once you are comfortably numb, Dr. Malki will remove decay from your tooth through a small hole that he creates in your tooth. At our practice, we use composite resin—a tooth-colored material made of plastic and glass—to fill dental cavities. This material is applied in layers. After each layer is placed, a special curing light is used to harden the material. Once your cavity has been filled, Dr. Malki will polish your tooth and ensure that the filling has not affected your bite.
Benefits of Composite Resin
Composite resin offers a number of benefits over traditional amalgam fillings. The most obvious benefit is cosmetic: your tooth-colored restoration is matched as closely as possible with the shade of your natural tooth. Gold or silver amalgam can also compromise the color of your tooth over time. The metals used in these restorations can seep into your tooth, permanently discoloring it. Amalgam fillings can also fluctuate with temperature changes, expanding and contracting in response to heat or cold. These fluctuations can damage your teeth over time and ultimately require other restorative procedures.
If Dr. Malki determines that the decay is too extensive to be properly treated with a dental filling, he may offer other methods of treatment. Indirect fillings, also called inlays and onlays, are used to treat decay inside the cusps or decay that extends down past over the cusps of the tooth. For more substantial cases, he may recommend a dental crown, which is a restoration that is placed over your tooth. Because we use advanced technologies and techniques, these treatments can typically be completed in one appointment. Dr, Malki employs CEREC® technology that uses top-of-the-line materials such as Empress® or IPS e.max to create stunningly realistic restorations.
Protect Your Oral Health
If you are experiencing the symptoms of a cavity, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Unchecked, decay can spread throughout your mouth, causing significant pain and requiring extensive restorative procedures. You could require treatment for gum disease or need root canal therapy. Additionally, bacteria can enter your bloodstream and put you at risk for other more serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, or dementia.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of a cavity, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
You can safeguard your oral health by undergoing a dental exam and cleaning every six months and practicing good oral hygiene at home. This includes brushing your teeth twice per day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing once daily, and using an antibacterial mouthwash.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
If you suspect you may have a cavity, call our office at (201) 646-0800 or contact Malki Dental online to schedule your exam. Dr. Malki can perform a thorough examination to determine whether you need a dental filling or a more extensive restorative procedure.