Tooth Cavities and composite treatments

Treatments performed with composite cover several types of treatments. Both treatments of cavities and cosmetic treatments are sometimes performed with composite. Cavities (caries) are undermining of dental tissue which occurs when bacteria on the teeth over time affect the teeth by acidification. Development of bacteria on the teeth occurs from insufficient oral hygiene but the individual composition of bacteria (bacterial flora), saliva and other hereditable conditions may also have an impact on the risk of developing caries.


Treatment of tooth cavities

The treatment of a cavity (caries) depends on the size of the cavity. If the cavity is superficial a surface-treatment with flour will typically be sufficient. Treatment with flour hardens the surface of the tooth and makes it harder for acid bacteria to pierce through. Flour combined with good dental hygiene will reduce the chances for the cavity to increase. However, it is important to know that the cavity will never disappear. Therefore, it is very important to maintain a good dental hygiene in the future.
If the cavity is too extensive to be treated with flour, it may be an option to make a composite filling in the tooth. The filling is made to stop the undermining of the tooth caused by the cavity. Over time untreated caries will reach the nerve of the tooth and cause infection and potentially pain too. Furthermore, the undermining of the tooth can be so extensive that root canal treatment will be necessary. In the last degree it will be impossible to reconstruct the tooth and removal of the tooth will be necessary.

What does a cavity feel like?

Cavities will not always cause symptoms and usually it will be discovered during a general examination of the teeth. If symptoms occur, the most common will be:
-a freezing sensation from the teeth
-swollen gingiva around the affected tooth

Replacement of old amalgam fillings

Today almost all fillings are made with plastic. Plastic is a good material because it is solid, and its color is similar to the color of teeth. Another important quality of plastic is that chemically it binds to the tooth. That means that a filling with plastic will keep the tooth together. In contrast to amalgam, that does not bond to the tooth and thereby can cause cracks and fractures of the tooth.


Cosmetic treatments with composite

Cosmetic treatments with plastic can be a fast and cheap way to get nice and homogeneous teeth. The treatment is a very small intervention on the tooth (minimally invasive) and therefore it is less traumatizing for the tooth than treatment with porcelain. However, treatments with plastic have certain limitations. Partly cosmetically but also in terms of durability as plastic is not as strong a material as ceramic.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions related to cosmetic treatments with plastic.

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