Tooth decay is caused by a combination of bacteria, nutrition and time. Foods we eat help bacteria in the mouth to grow. If this is left unchecked, these will in turn cause our teeth to decay and holes to form. This is why good oral hygiene is important to minimise the potential risks that can cause decay.
In cases where decay is caught early enough, we may opt to just monitor the teeth and we may prescribe a fluoride toothpaste as well a change in oral hygiene technique. Once decay becomes more advanced however, you will need treatment to remove the decay and replace the lost tooth structure.
Usually not until it has progressed to an advanced state. This state is usually once it has spread into the inner part of the teeth (the dentine) and may be close the nerve.
Studies have shown that the use of a good fluoride toothpaste significantly reduces the risk of tooth decay. Fluoride can help remineralise tooth structure as well as add a protective barrier to aid against future problems.
Your dentist numbs your mouth to ensure that you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. After removing the decayed portion, they will clean the tooth to remove debris and bacteria and add the filling material to the tooth.
Your tooth may feel a little sensitive after it’s filled. Sensitivity is completely normal and usually goes away in a day or two.
Both filling materials are used to replace the lost tooth structure. The main difference between the two materials is aesthetic with white fillings being tooth coloured. Generally, less tooth structure when placing a white filling however their placement is more technique sensitive and requires a longer appointment. On average however, silver fillings tend to last longer.
Usually yes, speak to your dentist at your next appointment and they will be able to advised you further on this.