Fillings are probably the most common procedure done in dentistry. When bacteria invade a tooth and the acids from the bacteria dissolve away a tooth, we say the tooth has a cavity. Cavities can be detected by visual exam, x-ray exam, by checking for “sticky” spots with a dental explorer, and even by electronic devices. However we discover a cavity, once it has been located it must be dealt with. Unlike the rest of our bodies, teeth can not heal themselves. This is because the enamel on our teeth is so hard. It takes a long time to grow enamel, and once a tooth is completely formed, no more enamel is produced. If a cavity is left untreated, the cavity will grow and grow until there is nothing left of the tooth. This is most times a very painful process and ends in tooth loss. With regular checkups at the dentist office, cavities can be found when they are still small and repaired with a simple filling.
For decades, they were repaired with silver fillings. These days we have tooth colored filling material that is just as durable and looks far better. We exclusively use tooth colored fillings at Engel Family Dentistry because the material these days is so good!
By coming in for regular checkups and cleanings, that gives us a chance to find cavities if they start forming, when they are small. A small filling is much easier and less expensive than if left untreated for years!!