Fillings and Sealants

Tooth Fillings and Sealants in Red Deer Area

A filling is used to stop the progression of decay in a tooth. With regular dental visits, cavities can be found early and the tooth saved. The dentist drills out the decayed area of the tooth and fills it with a substance that will lock out air and bacteria. Without a filling, a cavity will continue to grow until there is nothing left of your tooth.

dentist talking to patient

A daily oral hygiene routine can prevent cavities from developing. Some people are especially prone to tooth decay. Children whose teeth are not fully hardened yet and who may consume sugary snacks can get cavities despite regular brushing. It is a good idea to bring children to the dentist frequently to check for cavities. Others who are more likely to get cavities include:

  • People taking certain medications
  • Those with a poor diet
  • Older people with reduced saliva production

People with crowded or misaligned teeth can be prone to cavities as well because it is difficult for them to keep their teeth clean with regular brushing and flossing. If you are concerned about cavities, set up an appointment with Alpen Dental for a checkup and professional cleaning in Blackfalds or Rimbey today.

Tooth Sealants in Blackfalds

Teeth that are prone to developing cavities can sometimes be treated with sealants. A sealant blocks the bacteria from building up in areas that can be hard to reach with a toothbrush. For example, deep grooves in the back molars can collect food particles and promote tooth decay. Sealants are used to fill the grooves so food debris does not sit on your teeth.

Sealants are a thick acrylic coating applied to protect the teeth from plaque acids and other corrosive substances. Sealants last several years and can be reapplied. It takes just a few minutes to seal a tooth, and the sealant holds up well under the pressure of chewing.

Sealants can be used in children and adults. It is recommended that sealants only be applied to adult teeth, though, so kids who have not gotten any permanent teeth in yet likely won’t have sealants applied.

Materials Used for Cavities and Sealants

There are two types of fillings used to treat cavities: composite and amalgam. You can identify the difference because composite fillings are white, and amalgam fillings are silver colored. Both substances are safe, non-toxic, hard enough to resist breaking and resistant to decay.

The benefits of composite fillings include:

  • A white color more like natural teeth
  • Non-staining to the teeth
  • Quick setting and strong consistency
  • Not sensitive to heat and cold

The benefits of amalgam fillings include:

  • Remains strong under force of chewing
  • Can last 10-20 years
  • Less expensive than composite

Your dentist can help you decide which filling material is best for your situation. If you have several fillings, you may end up with a combination of composite and amalgam because each performs better in different areas of the mouth.

Caring for Fillings

Fillings benefit from daily oral hygiene the way the rest of your mouth does. Although the filling material may be resistant to decay, the tooth around it is still susceptible. Twice daily brushing and flossing can help prevent future cavities. Regular dental visits are required to check your fillings. If a filling falls out, you should see your dentist immediately to protect the tooth from fracture and decay.

Contact Alpen Dental at 403-885-8422 in Blackfalds or 403-843-2173 in Rimbey, and schedule an appointment today!