Identifying and addressing cavities early can prevent the need for more complex and costly dental procedures.
Once a tooth has a cavity, the decay will continue to spread unless the decayed area is removed and the tooth is properly restored. Leaving cavities untreated can lead to the need for more significant restorative procedures such as crowns, bridges, root canals, or dental implants.
If cavities are found before there has been significant decay, the tooth can be restored with a filling. Without this protective covering, decay can spread further into your tooth, right down to the root. If that happens, you could need root canal treatment or even have the tooth pulled.
Dr. Mekawy offers two types of dental fillings — tooth-colored and metal. You have several options in each category. Here’s a closer look at them.
Tooth Colored Fillings
Porcelain is durable and doesn’t stain, and many consider it to be the most natural-looking material. However, it can be more brittle than other materials.
Composite fillings are made from plastic and glass. They’re sturdy and blend seamlessly with your natural tooth.
Glass Ionomer Fillings
Glass ionomer is a mix of acrylic and glass powder. It’s inexpensive and translucent, so it blends nicely with the rest of the tooth but doesn’t last as long as other materials.
Amalgam is the filling most people are familiar with. It’s a silver-colored alloy made from silver, mercury, copper, and tin.
Cast gold is long-lasting but very expensive and, again, highly noticeable. For some, that adds to its appeal.
What to Expect
If you need a filling, Dr. Mekawy talks you through your options and discusses the merits of each. All fillings follow the same process. Dr. Mekawy takes X-rays to determine where the cavity is and how deep it goes. She applies a local anesthetic to numb the area before using a drill to remove the decay. Once the tooth is clear, Dr. Mekawy bonds the filling to the tooth. Each filling takes just a few minutes. Expect that your appointment will last about an hour, depending on how many teeth are involved and how severe your cavities are.
Your dental care is a collaboration between you and Dr. Mekawy. She guides you through the process so that you understand what each stage includes. She makes information-based decisions. Book your appointment today. Call the practice at 516-520-5858 or email our office to request an appointment.