Fillings – White Composite Restorations
Dental caries, also known as “tooth decay” can eventually lead to a broken tooth or a damaged tooth nerve. When bacterial decay is present it must be removed, and the cavity is restored by “filling” it with white composite material.
What is a cavity?
“Cavity” is actually a layperson term for dental caries, or “decay.” They can be painful and unsightly, though sometimes you may not be able to feel them at all until they turn into an even bigger issue. If left alone, they eventually lead to a broken tooth or a damaged tooth nerve.
Can cavities be healed naturally?
In a manner of speaking. Demineralization can be reversed, decay cannot. Before a tooth reaches the point of decay, it first demineralizes. At this point, the demineralization can be reversed by a process called remineralization to prevent cavities from forming.
We recommend cheese and natural yogurts to help with the remineralization process, or in more extreme cases, we use MI Paste, which uses bio-available calcium phosphate in conjunction with a natural milk protein to stick to teeth.
However, it is important to note that once there is active bacterial decay beyond simple demineralization, a filling is required.
What is a filling?
When bacterial decay is present, it must be removed, then the cavity is restored or “filled” with composite material.
We are proud to say we do not use mercury amalgam filling. We are also careful to only use composites that are both BPA free and NOT fluoride releasing, something that many people are not yet aware about.
What about when the cavities are larger?
When there is a lot of decay, two additional procedures may be required:
If the decay undermines and weakens the natural tooth structure, we will reinforce the tooth with a biocompatible ceramic crown.
If the bacterial decay damages the nerve of the tooth, removal of the nerve with root canal therapy is required to retain the tooth.
How about replacement of old fillings and mercury filling removal?
Old amalgam fillings contain approximately 50% mercury, and we believe when removing them, it is important to minimize exposure of heavy metals to the patient, the office team, and finally to the environment.
When amalgam fillings containing mercury need to be removed, we follow strict guidelines for procedural removal, office cleaning, and finally toxic waste disposal. We use a specific protocol as laid out by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.
This process minimizes mercury exposure and absorption compared to conventional methods. We use an IQ Air mercury vapour filtration unit.