Dental decay is one of the most common and preventable diseases. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to quality dental care throughout their lifetime or understands how decay forms and spreads.
At Humble Dentistry, Dr. Appel educates patients with the latest research and preventive information to empower them to take control of their oral health.
What Causes Dental Decay
Many people know that a diet high in sugar puts their smile at risk, but that is only part of the story. Starches, such as those found in breakfast cereal, potato chips, and bagels, quickly convert to sugar in the mouth when they interact with saliva. Because starchy foods stick in the deep grooves of the teeth, they can impact tooth decay as much as a sugary diet.
Bacteria need fuel to survive, and sugars are their favorite food. When bacteria feed on sugar, they create an acidic byproduct. Acid softens the protective enamel of teeth and eats it away, exposing teeth to damage. Brushing and flossing removes many food particles and protects teeth. Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, also helps keep enamel strong.
No matter how diligently you take care of your teeth, some plaque will collect, often in between teeth or near the gumline. When left on surfaces of teeth, plaque will harden into tartar and require a professional dental cleaning to remove. That is why regular dental cleanings are such an important part of preventive dentistry.
Diagnosing Dental Decay
In many cases, Dr. Robert Appel can see decay developing because it creates pits or dark spots on the teeth. Not all decay is visible to the naked eye alone. That is why dental x-rays are an integral part of the preventive care we provide.
We use digital dental x-rays, which are low in radiation and produce high-resolution images to diagnose decay and other oral conditions in their earliest stages before they become a more serious problem.
Removing decay and placing a filling will keep it from spreading by sealing your tooth to keep out bacteria. At Humble Dentistry, we use durable, tooth-colored fillings to restore teeth and protect their natural beauty.
Dr. Robert Appel will apply a local anesthetic to ensure a comfortable procedure. He will remove bacteria and all signs of decay before sterilizing the tooth and applying a bonding agent. He will choose a shade of composite tooth-colored filling material that matches your natural tooth and add it to your tooth structure in layers. Using a special curing light, he will harden the material in between layers. Once the cavity is completely filled, Dr. Appel will smooth and polish the composite to create a seamless and smooth repair.
You can chew on your filling right away, though you may be numb for a little while and should be careful not to bite the inside of your cheek.
Contact Us for a Dental Appointment
We look forward to hearing from you and welcome you to contact us to arrange an appointment with Dr. Robert Appel. Whether you need a filling, a cleaning, or just a regular check-up, give us a call, and our friendly, professional team will get you taken care of.