Sugars in everyday foods react with bacteria in the mouth to produce an acid. This acid attack can lead to softening of the tooth enamel forming a cavity or hole in which dental decay grows.
If a small amount of decay is detected then this can be fixed by removing the small amount of decay and replacing the missing space within the tooth with a small filling, restoring the integrity of the tooth. Often these small holes may be symptom free.
If however, these areas of decay are left untreated the decay gets bigger and grows closer to the nerve of the tooth, leading to symptoms such as pain and sensitivity to sweet things and hot and cold things. The decay is eventually removed and a larger filling is placed in the tooth. In cases where decay is left untreated the tooth may need to be extracted or root canal treated.
Therefore it is essential that regular check ups help identify any smaller problems minimising the need for larger more complex treatment at a later date.
At Hollyhedge Dental we offer patients the choice of filling materials. The most requested treatment is for the placement of non-mercury based white composite fillings. Amalgam fillings (black fillings) do still contain mercury. This heavy metal has caused widespread debate and although not proven has links with certain medical conditions.