One of the most common procedures at the dentist is a filling, yet most people know little about what they are and why they need one. ‘Cavities’, ‘dental caries’, ‘tooth decay’, are poorly understood terms, and patients sometimes wonder why they have these problems despite brushing their teeth every day. The process of tooth decay is straightforward to grasp, and there are a few measures you can implement at home to prevent the need for fillings.
The mouth naturally contains hundreds of species of bacteria, most of which are harmless. A few species of bacteria can cause tooth decay; these bacteria take sugars from the foods and drinks you consume and produce acid as a by-product, which over time dissolves your teeth. After enough of your tooth has been degraded, it becomes weak and breaks off, forming a hole or ‘cavity’. This process is known as dental caries, or the more familiar term tooth decay.
Tooth decay doesn’t affect everyone equally. People who consume more sugary foods and drinks are at greater risk, as are those with poor brushing and flossing habits. Genetics plays an important role too; some people have a better quality of tooth enamel that is more resistant to decay, while others have a stronger immune system to combat these harmful bacteria. Good oral hygiene practice and minimising sugar in your diet reduces the risk of tooth decay, and these are supplemented by regular visits to the dentist for services including professional dental cleaning. Our dentists and dental hygienist in Bondi Junction can teach you the ideal brushing and flossing techniques and inform you about other products that may be beneficial, such as mouthrinses.
Once a hole forms in a tooth or part of it breaks off, it needs to be rebuilt to protect its fragile nerve from damage. Fillings can also improve the appearance of a tooth and enhance your eating ability. Dental on Hollywood uses the highest quality tooth-coloured filling materials, ensuring comfortable placement with long-lasting results. The procedure can take as little as twenty minutes. If you want more information about tooth decay or fillings, please come in to Dental on Hollywood and one of our dentists can answer any questions you might have.
Dr Anthony Chepurin