With our modern diets and fast paced lives, our teeth are constantly under attack from sugary foods and stress. While understanding of dental health and general routine care has improved over the years, it is still very common for tooth decay to occur in adults and, increasingly, in children too.
If you suspect you have decay you should seek help straight away, don’t wait until you have tooth ache. The sooner we can treat the problem, the less of the tooth we will have to repair.
If we detect decay on your teeth it will have to be removed. We will do this using a small hand held dental tool. There is no need to worry, we can numb the area affected and you won’t feel any pain. The hole left must then be filled.
In the past it was not uncommon to see a mouthful of metal fillings but, fortunately, we now have natural looking alternatives – composite or tooth-coloured fillings as they are sometimes called.
Composite fillings are made from a natural looking resin mixture that can be expertly coloured to match your natural enamel. When in place the filling will be indistinguishable from its host tooth.
Once we have removed the decay from your teeth we clean and dry the area thoroughly before applying the composite filling material. It is soft when applied to the tooth but we use a special UV light to harden the mixture and accelerate the bonding.
The materials in modern composite fillings have been developed to be hard wearing and suitable for back teeth, depending on the size of the cavity that needs filling. If the cavity is large or a tooth is badly fractured, however, we may recommend a crown or an inlay.
Composite fillings need to be looked after in the same careful way as the rest of your teeth, with regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste. They generally last well but may need to be replaced at some point. We will discuss your routine care with you during your appointment, which we normally advise should include oral hygiene appointments.