During your cleanings, you’ll receive expert advice from our skilled hygienists on techniques you can use during your home hygiene routine to prevent cavities. Thanks to these interventions, we’ve been able to considerably reduce the number of cavities our patients have to deal with.
Unfortunately, we have yet to eliminate them completely.
We don’t believe, however, that the whole world needs to know that you have had a cavity, which was often the case with older, silvery, amalgam fillings. Today, we fill cavities using tooth-colored composite, a more conservative approach that allows us to preserve more healthy tooth structure and keeps your smile pearly white.
Why Do We Get Cavities?
Our bodies are amazing ecosystems, home to countless species of bacteria. Most of these bacteria are harmless. In fact, some of them are necessary for us to survive!
Many bacteria call our mouths home. As they feed, they metabolize sugars and convert them into acids. If these acids are allowed to build up and cling to our teeth as a part of plaque and tartar, they can eat away at the tooth structure, eventually causing small holes – cavities.
Cavities are often associated with consumption of sugar. But our sweet tooth is only part of the story! When sugars are allowed to linger in our mouths, bacteria feed and thrive, creating more acid and more risk for cavities. It’s important to keep in mind that sugar is not only found in treats like chocolate and gummy bears; it’s also found in healthy foods like breads, dairy, and fruit and vegetables.
This is why brushing your teeth is so important. Brushing removes the plaque from the teeth, preventing it from hardening into tartar. It also removes the sugars from the mouth, cutting back on bacteria and the acids they produce.
Cavities, like most health conditions, are easier to treat in the earlier stages. Regular check-ups, which include x-rays and a comprehensive examination, allow Dr. Mapes to identify cavities early on, long before they cause pain or significant damage.
If a cavity is spotted, Dr. Mapes will recommend filling it promptly to stop the damage and repair the tooth.
This procedure is simple and fairly quick. Using the DentalVibe, we’ll painlessly anesthetize your tooth so you don’t feel a thing. Then Dr. Mapes will expertly remove the decayed portion of the tooth. Because composite bonds directly to your tooth structure, we can remove the absolute minimal amount necessary, preserving more healthy tooth.
Next, the filling material is placed in layers, with curing between each one. Once the cavity is entirely filled, Dr. Mapes will test your bite and make any needed adjustments, finishing up with a polish so that the filling blends in flawlessly with your tooth. It’s unlikely that even you will be able to see the difference!
Is It Time for an Examination?
If you’ve been putting off seeing the dentist, now is a great time to get back on track. You’ll never hear any judgment at our Queens dental practice; we’re just glad you’re here and we’re ready to help you meet your goals!
Call today to schedule your next check-up.