Tooth decay is destruction of the tooth enamel from acid producing bacteria. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on your teeth. When you eat or drink foods containing carbohydrates, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth and after many such attacks, the enamel can break down and a cavity forms.
Your dentist will look for signs of decay, such as brown or black spots and may want to use X-rays to take a closer look at problem areas. If you have a cavity, your dentist may keep an eye on it, or fill it right away. If a large cavity is not filled it can get bigger, cause pain, and lead to root canal treatment or worse, cause the tooth to be extracted.
If you have a cavity and it needs a filling, there are different kinds of fillings to do the job. Your dentist will advise you on the type of filling that works best in your particular case, and inform you about the aesthetic and cost implications for each type. There are several different types of fillings that can be used to fill a cavity, but any tooth requiring a filling replacing more than 50% of the tooth structure is best treated with a crown. The final decision on which type of filling is placed in your mouth is yours alone.
Your dental professional at Greenway Dental will be pleased to make an assessment and discuss your treatment options.