Cavities form as a result of tooth decay and cause damage to the tooth. Tooth decay can affect both the enamel, the outer coating, and the dentin, the inner layer, of the tooth. When foods with carbohydrates are left on your teeth for long periods of time, the bacteria in your mouth turn the food into acids. The bacteria, acid, food debris and saliva combine to form plaque which damages your teeth. The acid in the plack slowly dissolves the enamel and creates the holes called cavities. Proper oral hygiene is your best defense against cavities. We recommend brushing at least two times per day and scheduling cleanings (prophylaxis) at least twice per year.
Fillings are used to repair teeth that have been cracked or broken, or have been damaged by decay. Fillings restore teeth to their former shape and function. Before the filling, the decayed tooth material needs to be removed and the affected area needs to be cleaned. The cavity is then filled with a material made of gold, porcelain, resin, or silver amalgam (mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc and copper).