Tooth decay is incredibly common, and most of us will have at least one filling. It happens when the tooth enamel is attacked by bacteria in the mouth. Every time you eat something then particles of food remain in your mouth and combine with plaque bacteria to create a sticky film that covers your teeth and gums. You might even be able to feel this sticky film at the end of a very long day, just before you brush your teeth. The bacteria in this plaque biofilm use leftover food as an energy source, creating acid as a by-product. The acid attacks the tooth enamel, weakening and softening it, increasing your risk of developing a cavity.
One of the first signs that this might be happening is if you notice your teeth feel more sensitive when you eat something particularly hot or cold. This is because the outer layer of tooth enamel is gradually eroded away, exposing the next layer of the tooth structure which is called the dentine. This is a much softer material and consists of lots of tiny tubules that lead directly to the pulp of the tooth which contains all the nerves and blood vessels. Its exposure makes it much easier for the sensations of hot and cold foods to penetrate right to the centre of your tooth, causing sensitivity or even pain. Quite often there will be very few symptoms, and this is one of the reasons why it’s so important to visit Bromley Dental Practice at regular intervals.
Your Bromley dentist can examine your teeth using high magnification and will be able to pick up on any soft spots or pits in your teeth that could indicate the beginning of a cavity. At this stage tooth decay is quite easy to treat, and it’s much less expenses for Dr Zaki Bashir to place a small filling than to leave the cavity to develop until it is much more deep-seated. When this happens there is the risk the cavity could reach right into the pulp area of your tooth, and it can be pretty painful. Treatment would involve a root canal to remove the infected pulp and to repair the tooth. This can sometimes be done through placing quite a large filling, but often it can mean the tooth has to be restored with a crown. It’s far more cost-effective to attend those regular check-ups!
If you do have small cavity, Dr Bashir will recommend filling it with white composite resin material. This is tooth coloured and works in harmony with the rest of your teeth, providing as very strong and stable restoration. You’ll be kept comfortable right throughout treatment with a local anaesthetic as it’s necessary for your dentist in Bromley to remove all the infected and decayed tooth structure. Next, the area to be filled will be thoroughly cleaned and dried, and the composite resin is placed in tiny increments and will be hardened at regular intervals using a special light. Finally, it will be trimmed and polished so it looks very natural. Once treatment is completed you’ll be able to use the tooth as normal.
If you have any larger cavities Dr Bashir might recommend an inlay or onlay. This is made from porcelain and is stronger and longer lasting and more suitable for repairing large areas of decay.