Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in the world. About 96% of us will experience it at some point in our lives. If left untreated, tooth decay not only destroys teeth, it can lead to serious, even life-threatening infections. Fortunately, tooth decay can be treated. The most common treatment for tooth decay is fillings. We utilize tooth-colored fillings that can stop the progress of decay and return your teeth to healthy, pain-free function again. Not only that, but these fillings can maintain the beauty of your teeth.

Do you have or suspect you have tooth decay? Let us treat your cavities with attractive, healthy tooth-colored fillings. Please call (212) 557-8668 today for an appointment with midtown Manhattan dentist Dr. Karthilde Appolon at Appolon Dental Group in Columbus Circle.

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What Causes Tooth Decay

Tooth decay occurs when oral bacteria secrete acids that attack your tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, but it’s vulnerable to acids. Bacteria cling to your teeth in a soft, sticky substance known as plaque. As these bacteria consume foods in your mouth, they secrete acids. The acids remove minerals from your tooth enamel.

First, your teeth will begin to show white spots caused by demineralization. Then they will turn dark in areas where they are decaying. Eventually, the decayed areas will turn into pits, and this is what we call cavities or dental caries.

Why We Use Fillings for Cavities

When your teeth begin to decay, we want to stop that decay using fillings. If decay is left untreated, it accelerates. That’s because the cavities in your teeth can trap foods and provide shelter for oral bacteria. The bacteria multiply faster and the acids they secrete get concentrated in the small area, causing the cavity to grow larger.
Left untreated, these cavities will eventually penetrate into the interior of the tooth, known as the pulp. The bacteria will then infect the tooth. Bacteria that thrive in the interior of the tooth can be very bad for your health. Not only can they cause chronic bad breath, they can infect other teeth and spread infection to your sinuses, your blood, your lungs, and elsewhere. An infected tooth can turn into a life-threatening infection if left untreated.
But fillings let us stop the process of decay. We clean out the cavity and remove any damaged enamel or dentin (the layer below the enamel). Then we place a filling in the cavity. This filling keeps food and bacteria out of the tooth. The tooth is protected from further decay, and sensitivity or pain related to the cavity is relieved.

Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

In the past, the most common fillings were made of metal, either metal amalgam (a blend of metals made mostly of mercury) or gold. Gold fillings remain a good option, although expensive. However, these days most people want the benefits of tooth-colored fillings.

There are two types of tooth-colored fillings. Composite fillings are the most common. These fillings are a blend of plastic and ceramic designed to be easy to use and capable of filling even small cavities. They start as a soft putty that can be hardened and polished to look like tooth enamel. The benefits of composite fillings include:

  • Inexpensive
  • Can be completed in a single visit
  • Attractive
  • Highly durable when used properly

For most small cavities, composite fillings are the best choice.

The other type of tooth-colored filling is a ceramic fillings. Ceramic fillings are custom-crafted in a lab to fill the prepared cavity. Then they are bonded to your natural teeth. Ceramic fillings:

  • Are the most attractive fillings
  • Restore strength to damaged teeth
  • Resist staining
  • Can be the longest-lasting fillings

For larger cavities, but not large enough that a crown is required, ceramic fillings are the best.

Do You Need a Filling?

Midtown Manhattan cosmetic dentist Dr. Karthilde Appolon offers fillings that are not just durable, they’re beautiful. If you are looking for quality fillings, please call (212) 557-8668 today for an appointment at Appolon Dental Group in Columbus Circle.