When it comes to restoring teeth, cavities are the most common reason why, and fillings are among the most frequently successful treatment options. While modern fillings are highly effective and can even blend in with your smile, the best way to treat cavities is prevent them from forming. Or if possible, address them before the condition becomes severe enough to need a tooth filling.
A cavity, or hole in your tooth, forms when tooth enamel becomes weak and compromised, allowing oral bacteria to infect the main structure of your tooth (called dentin). After your dentist cleans the cavity, a filling can restore the tooth by filling the cavity and replacing the lost dentin. However, if your dentist notices that your enamel has grown weak or other signs of early decay, the condition may be treated (i.e., strengthening the enamel) before a cavity has the chance to fully develop.
While metal amalgam fillings have been popular for ages, they aren’t always 100% reliable. Metal can change shape in the midst of hot and cold temperatures, which can damage the tooth and lead to the need for root canal treatment. If you develop a cavity, then your best option may be to choose a tooth-colored filling made from biocompatible composite resin. The resin can be tinted to blend in discreetly with your tooth, and will retain its shape to better protect and restore your tooth.