We try to brush and floss regularly, and to avoid sugary between-meal snacks… but sometimes we just can’t seem to avoid tooth decay. According to a branch of the National Institutes of Health, tooth decay is the #1 chronic disease of children and adults in America. If you haven’t had one cavity by the age of 17, be proud: your select group comprises just 22% of the U.S. population! For most other people, cavities are a fact of life.
Another fact of life is the dental filling, a time-tested and effective way to keep tooth decay from doing further damage. True to its name, the filling seals up the small hole in your tooth that decay-causing bacteria have created. It’s one of the most common dental treatments dentists perform: Every time you go to the dentist office, you are checked to see if you have a cavity that needs filling, even if you don’t notice anything wrong. Why does your dentist care so much?
It’s simple: If your tooth is left untreated, the decay wouldn’t go away — it would spread deeper inside the tooth. When it reached the pulp (nerve) tissue of the root canal, it would begin to cause real discomfort, or even intense tooth pain. The infection could spread further, and might result in the loss of a tooth — a complicated (and costly) problem to remedy. Isn’t it better to stop decay now with a simple procedure? Learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth-Colored Fillings.”