We all have bacteria that live in our mouth. Whenever we eat something, there is enough residue for the bacteria to feed upon and then they leave a sticky residue on our teeth called plaque. This has a tendency to eat away at our teeth since it is very acidic. If we don’t brush our teeth and floss, there eventually is a break in the tooth enamel and we have what is called caries, or a cavity in the tooth. As time goes on, this will grow, and unless it is taken care of by a dentist – like the Chandler dentists at www.SmilesChandler.com – it will destroy the tooth.
In times past if the tooth became so decayed that it was destroyed, the tooth was just yanked out. Today, with modern dentistry, the tooth can be saved by drilling out the decayed area and filling it with a material that will stand the test of time. And with the advances in sedation dentistry, the visit can be painless and stress free.
Here’s a funny video of a child after his stress free visit to the dentist:
There are two types of fillings that are used to fill in the formerly decayed area that the dentist drills out. One is an amalgam material and the other is called a composite resin filling.
The amalgam is composed of silver, tin, copper, zinc, and mercury, and are known as silver or mercury fillings. Composite fillings are composed of tiny silica pieces encased by a plastic resin.
For the past 180 years, amalgam fillings have been in general use and are still in use today. When the metals in the amalgam filling come together they compose a soft, malable material that can be formed and fitted into the tooth cavity. It will then harden as the metals bind together. People are concerned about the mercury, but it is harmless in the filling material because it is locked inside the other metals, and is not harmful to people in that state.