Teeth are made of both inorganic (mineral) and organic (protein) components. The mineral found in teeth is the same mineral found in bone. This mineral, hydroxyapatite, will dissolve in an acidic environment. When the plaque bacteria naturally found on all teeth, are given a source of sugar to metabolize, they produce lactic acid as a bi-product. This is the fundamental process by which caries (cavities) form.
When damage from plaque bacteria passes through the outer layer of the tooth, the enamel, and into the inner layer of the tooth, the dentin, intervention is necessary. As part of the restorative process, we will remove the damaged tooth structure and replace it with filling material.
Traditionally these fillings were a mix of many metals called amalgam or silver fillings. Though these fillings still have their niche uses, the majority of fillings placed at the practice are white cosmetic fillings. White fillings are more conservative as they require less tooth removal, look more realistic, and bond (adhere) directly to the tooth.