When decay rots away the enamel on your teeth, the resulting space is called a cavity. Left untreated, the decay will eventually cause extensive damage to the tooth, and potentially cause root infection. However, if caught early, we can treat it with a simple filling, typically in one appointment.
To fill your tooth, we will first apply a local anesthetic, then use a drill or laser to remove the decay. Then we apply a filling material to prevent further decay, and increased sensitivity. The filling material is applied in layers and hardened with a special light. The final layers are shaped and polished to restore the tooth’s appearance and function.
Composite (plastic resin) is the filling material used in most cases. Composite resin is widely considered to be superior to the silver amalgam fillings commonly used in the past. Silver amalgam fillings contain small amounts of mercury, while composite fillings are completely free of mercury.
Composite fillings are also less likely to result in sensitivity to heat or cold, since the material does not expand or contract. Since the composite material closely matches the colour of the tooth, fillings are nearly invisible.