What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay is caused by the bacteria that live in plaque. These bacteria digest sugary food, and release acids that wear away the tooth's outside layer, called enamel.
Over time tooth decay can spread into the second layer of the tooth called dentine, resulting in cavities. If left untreated cavties can get bigger and destroy the tooth.
If you think you have tooth decay, your dentist can perform a comprehensive dental examination (check-up) and possibly take dental x-rays to assess if a filling is needed to stop the cavity getting bigger.
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in water and toothpaste, which can help make teeth stronger and prevent tooth decay. Your tooth is naturally strengthened (remineralised) by the minerals in your saliva, combined with fluoride this makes your teeth super strong and resistant to decay!
Composite fillings or "white fillings"
Composite fillings appear tooth coloured, and are made from a plastic resin and filler, which is bonded to the tooth surface. A range of shades are available so filling can be matched to the colour of your tooth very closely. The type of composite we use is also BPA free.
Glass ionomer fillings
Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride, which can help protect the tooth from further decay. They appear tooth coloured, but do not match as well as composite resin fillings. Glass ionomer fillings are used for fillings around the gum line, in the roots of teeth, and for childrens teeth.
Amalgam "silver" fillings
Amalgam fillings are made of a mixture of metals and appear silver coloured. Amalgam fillings are very strong, and have been the most widely used, cost effective fillings in back teeth for a very long time!