• St. Marys Dentistry

Many people do not realize that tooth decay is actually a bacterial infection of the tooth. Dental plaque is a collection of millions of bacteria that secrete a sticky substance that helps them adhere to your teeth. Once there, they feed off sugars in your mouth and secrete acid. It is the acid that dissolves your teeth and this loss of tooth structure is what is referred to as a cavity. This process is often painless. However, once the bacteria reach the nerve inside your tooth the pain can be quite severe. It is important to have dental decay treated before this happens. This is done by your dentist surgically removing the decay with his/her drill and then replacing the lost tooth structure.

The replacement of tooth structure is what is called a restoration. A restoration can be in the form of a chairside "filling" or by an inlay or onlay. Inlays and onlays are made of porcelain and are cemented in place. They typically are stronger than traditional filling materials and, on average, will last longer.

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