Cavities and Fillings
Many people treat the word “cavity” as if it is a four-letter word. However, cavities are not something you need to run from. Cavities are one of the most common health problems that people face, and it affects adults, teens, and even children. Anyone who has teeth is at risk for cavities, and the external factors in our day-to-day lives sometimes make cavities difficult to avoid. Dental caries, or cavities, are areas of a decayed tooth that are created when acids from the bacteria in the mouth attach to the teeth and dissolve the enamel.
What Causes Cavities?
Many factors lead to dental caries; however, two of the leading causes are diet and poor oral health. From childhood, you’re taught that sugary foods are bad for your teeth. And this is entirely true. High-sugar foods, such as soda, juice, candy, bread, and anything acidic, all lead to enamel erosion and cavities. While it is nearly impossible to find foods these days with absolutely zero sugar (as even products labeled “sugar-free” can pose similar dental worries), it is essential to eat these foods in moderation to keep your risk of cavities at bay. The other leading cause of cavities is poor oral health. No matter the circumstances or how busy you are, it is vital that you brush and floss your teeth twice a day to ensure that food particles and bacteria do not form.
Why Should Cavities Be Filled?
Cavities are often the first sign of dental trouble. By addressing these early, you can help prevent the progression of tooth decay, which will allow for a less aggressive dental treatment. When cavities are left unfilled, they can lead to toothache, infection, more extreme treatments (such as root canals), or even tooth loss.
There is an ongoing discussion about the safety of metal in the mouth and whether the previously used amalgam fillings lead to additional health concerns. Although there is no scientific proof, many patients desire to stay away from metal fillings. Dr. Fiss hasn’t used metal fillings in decades, and he finds that his patients prefer the metal-free IPS Empress fillings for many reasons besides safety. IPS Empress fillings are made from high-quality glass-ceramic materials that match the tooth in shade and shape and are unnoticeable to the naked and untrained eye. These fillings are as functional and durable as metal fillings but are less likely to cause allergies. As these fillings adhere to the natural tooth, it is unnecessary to compromise any of the natural, healthy parts of the tooth so as to place these fillings. Additionally, most IPS Empress fillings can be completed in a single visit.
Why Are Routine Visits Important?
Tooth decay often begins without pain; because of this, tooth decay is usually unnoticeable. It is only through routine dental appointments and cavity detection techniques, such as the DEXIS™ CariVu™ system, that cavities can be stopped before they become a problem. In normal life, some amount of tooth decay is expected; however, the key to managing this is early detection and proper care.
To learn more about IPS Empress fillings, or to set up a dental consultation, contact Dr. Fiss at (312) 951-5230.