Tooth decay happens when the enamel and dentine of a tooth become softened by acid attack after you have eaten or drunk anything containing sugars. Over time, the acid makes a cavity (hole) in the tooth. A dental restoration or dental filling is a dental restorative material used to restore the function, integrity and morphology of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from caries or external trauma. Our bodies have the amazing ability to repair injured structures. For example, when we break a bone, our body is able to heal the bone by creating new cells that glue the bone back together. Unfortunately, this isn’t true when it comes to our teeth. Once a hole forms in a tooth, the body cannot repair it. Hundreds of years ago (before fillings existed), cavities eventually caused people so much pain that they would have the tooth removed.
Amazingly, modern dentistry has found a way to let you keep your decayed teeth. All that needs to be done is to have the bacteria professionally removed and then to replace the hole in the tooth with a hard, tooth-like material known as a dental filling. Dental fillings last for 3 to 7 years. It can last you longer depending on your diet and oral hygiene. Fillings require annual checkups to ensure they are not leaking, chipped or discoloured, ensuring there is no secondary decay below the filling.