Dental Clinic: Why we develop teeth cavities
Posted Monday, October 14 2013 at 00:00
The main cause of cavities is tooth decay. However, there are other ways in which a cavity, which is a hole in the tooth can develop.
You can get a hole in your tooth because you are grinding one tooth against another, and wearing out one of them in the process.
There are a lot of myths out there on why people get cavity, or why they get tooth decay.
Some people feel that they have soft teeth, and are, therefore susceptible to tooth decay. Others believe that because their grandparents lost their teeth when they were in their 20s, the same would happen to them.
However, such beliefs do not hold any water. Unlike in the past, today there is a great emphasis on how to keep your teeth healthy and strong, and tis care involves making a visit to the dentist regularly.
If you have a cavity, your dentist is going to treat it in different ways depending on its size, depth and how much tooth structure has been lost as a result of the cavity.
The options are varied. It could be a small filling, a large filling, an inlay, or a crown to cover the entire tooth. Treatment will also vary depending on the severity of the cavity.
Are dental fillings safe?
Tooth colour fillings, and mercury type fillings are safe. However your dentist will best guide you on the appropriate options for you.
Most people prefer tooth coloured fillings to mercury or silver fillings. However, research and practice shows that silver fillings last twice as long as the coloured fillings.
Silver fillings are more appropriate for posterior teeth. For cosmetic reasons, though, tooth coloured fillings are the best for anterior teeth.
How long do dental fillings last?
The length of time that your dental filling lasts will vary depending on the size of the filling, and the material used. If you use a material designed for a small size filling, for a large filling, it is not going to last for long.
The minimum time a filling lasts is three to five years, but depending on the cavity and the type of cement used, a filling can last for 10 years or longer.
The writer is a dentist