Bonded fillings are done to remove decay and replace the affected tooth structure. It is called a filling because a new material fills the hole that decay left. The fillings are bonded, tooth-colored composite resin fillings, not the unsightly metal fillings used last century; they are custom-matched to your tooth so that the untrained eye doesn’t even detect them. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated, decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, and the tooth would need root canal treatment or extraction. Today’s fillings are not the silver-colored metal fillings;
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth. It is the same material as the "bonded fillings" noted above, but some people use the term bonding when it is done for cosmetic purposes (e.g. to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, fix chipped areas, etc.) and the term filling when it is used for decay. First, the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it. A gel is applied to micro etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bond agent is applied so the material adheres to the surface. Then, the material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense light. The composite resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish as a last step.
NON-SURGICAL GUM TREATMENTS
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for one’s teeth. All of these structures are also referred to collectively as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium (gum disease) may be as follows: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these signs may mean something is wrong. With the proper care, however, it may be possible to return them to a healthy state. This is where appropriate gum treatments come in. If you're having a problem, come in and see us so we can take care of it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to get it treated at the first sign of a problem. (Also see "Types of Cleanings" on the Preventive/Diagnostic Services page for the names and codes for these types of periodontal treatments.)