Our goal at Cornerstone Dental is to keep your mouth healthy and your smile beautiful. Dr. Stacy Goodwill and Dr. Jessica Majidian offer a full range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services to help patients look and feel their best, every day. Our preventive dentistry treatments, like dental cleanings and checkups, will protect your teeth from plaque and tartar buildup, and help us spot early signs of tooth decay and gum disease. In cases where cavities have developed, we offer dental fillings to restore your teeth to their optimal strength and function, while preserving their all-white appearance. If you need a check-up and dental cleaning, call our Fargo, ND dental office today to set up an appointment.
Tooth decay is caused by oral bacteria that consume plaque and tartar build-up on the enamel of our teeth. When teeth are not adequately cleaned of plaque and tartar, the bacteria multiply, destroying the enamel and creating an area of decayed tissue, which we call a cavity. Dentists use fillings to restore teeth to their original strength, shape, and function. When we examine your teeth during a six-month cleaning, we will identify demineralized spots on your enamel, where cavities may soon form. If you already have tooth decay, you may experience some sensitivity or a toothache when you chew, brush, or floss. However, some people can live with even deep cavities, without any sensitivity or pain at all. Without restoration, though, the decaying tooth can lead to a blood-borne infection that harms overall health. That’s why it’s always best to keep your six-month appointments. Regular check-ups give us the opportunity to catch tooth decay early before more advanced restorations (such as root canals) are needed.
The human body is very good at repairing itself. Bones and soft tissues can heal with little intervention, and when healthy, the human immune system is excellent at fighting off infection. Unfortunately, teeth are an exception. Teeth cannot heal themselves. Once bacteria have created a hole (cavity) in a tooth, there is nothing the human body can do to repair the damage. Dental fillings were invented to do what the body cannot: repair and restore a tooth that has endured decay. Fillings are the foundation of restorative dentistry. The standard technique has been used for decades all over the world and is improved upon each time science devises a better technique or substance to use in filling a cavity. When placing a filling, the dentists first removes all bacteria and decay from the cavity, and second, replaces the lost portions of the tooth with manmade material. Today, most fillings are composed of either amalgam or a composite resin. Amalgam is a dark-colored mix of metals used for its durability and strength. Composite resin is a plastic mixture that we custom tint to match the color of natural teeth. Composites are often used for fillings that will show when you smile. As a cosmetic dentistry service, we can often replace old amalgam fillings with tooth-colored resin fillings, if you want to get rid of dark restorations. Fillings tend to last 8-12 years, or more, before needing replacement. Amalgam fillings may expand with age, and composite fillings may shrink—so it’s important to remember that fillings are not a permanent restoration, but they do provide a healthy long-term solution for correcting cavities. Shrinking or expanding fillings may lead to cracks in teeth or further decay, both of which we can identify during your routine check-ups, then address in follow up visits.
Fillings are a convenient, direct restoration than can often be performed is a short dental office visit. At your appointment, we will take steps to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the procedure. An anesthetic injection may be given to prevent any sensitivity. Sometimes, for example, if the cavity is only on the surface of your enamel and has not yet reached the dentin, anesthetic isn’t necessary. Shortly after your visit, you should be able to resume normal chewing and eating within a few hours. You may feel some sensitivity after the anesthetic wears off, but it should go away within a day or two. If you feel any discomfort in the tooth after a couple of days, especially when you bite down, call us right away, as the filling may need adjustment.