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We fight a constant battle against the bacteria is our mouths, and sometimes we lose. Cavities. We all dread hearing that word from our dentist. The solution is often a filling, but why do we need fillings?

Bacteria in the mouth produce an acid that eats away at your teeth. As this decay occurs, pain can begin to show up, and the structure of your tooth can be compromised. Cavities often show up in hard-to-reach places, like between the teeth, or back in the molars, where it can be hard to brush, especially for children.

If it weren’t for fillings, some people might just have to get rid of their decayed teeth, or at least have to have a much more serious dental procedure.

A cavity isn’t just on the surface of the tooth. The decay continues to go into the tooth. For this reason, Dr. Stark will need to remove a portion of the tooth (the decayed part), resulting in a hole. That hole must be filled to maintain the integrity of the tooth, so you can keep using it effectively.

It is important to remember that most cavities don’t hurt until it’s too late, and then a root canal is required. This is why regular dental check-ups are so important.

Modern dentistry has provided a number of different materials for this filling (you are literally filling a hole in the mouth, after all!). Some dentists use silver alloy. Other materials are white, to match the teeth. Consult with Dr. Stark to see which type of filling is best for you. Ask him about amalgam, composite and silver fillings. There are various pros and cons of each:

There will probably be a little discomfort when Dr. Stark performs the procedure, but anesthetic is great at taking away any serious pain. There will be some numbness.

A high speed drill is used to remove the decay. This instrument also uses water, which is why an assistant will be there to suction the water out. After the decay is removed, the location on the tooth needs to be prepared to receive the filling. Then the hole is filled, and the patient is sent on his or her way!