A filling replaces part of a tooth that has been lost because of decay (causing a cavity) or accidental damage. There are two basic types of filling: white or metal (silver amalgam).

On front teeth we always use white fillings. On back teeth we normally use metal fillings because the biting forces are huge and normal white fillings are not strong enough. If the filling on the back tooth is not on the biting surface you can do a normal white filling.

If you do not want any metal in your mouth you can place high strength white fillings on the biting surface. These will look much more natural but are considerably more expensive and are not quite as strong (about 90%) as the metal fillings.

Cavities (Decay)

Decay (or Caries) is caused when sugars in food or drink we consume is converted into acid by bacteria in our mouth. If too much of this acid is produced too often it will eat away at the tooth enamel causing a cavity in the tooth. This can continue until the decay reaches the nerve inside the tooth.

Decay is treated by removing it and replacing the missing tooth with a filling. The sooner that decay is detected and treated the better, it usually causes no pain until it gets close to the nerve. The closer it gets to the nerve the greater the chance that the tooth cannot be filled and may need a Root Canal Treatment or extraction.

Progression of Tooth Decay and Cavities

Progression of Tooth Decay