← Return to list of services

Fillings & Sealants

What are cavities?

A cavity is a decayed portion of tooth structure caused by acid producing bacteria when it is allowed to stay on the teeth for long periods of time, described as dental caries. For information on cavity prevention, please visit our oral hygiene page. 

How do we treat cavities?

Cavities are treated by removing the diseased tooth structure, usually under local anesthetic, and filled with a composite, tooth-colored resin. 

Is it safe to replace my amalgam (silver) fillings with tooth-colored composite fillings?

Although silver fillings use mercury as the binding agent for the metal alloy, the American Dental Association has issued a statement regarding dental amalgam as a safe substance, in the same class as composite fillings. If you are interested in replacing your silver fillings you can request an appointment to do so. 


What are dental sealants?

Sealants are a non-invasive preventive restoration that protects deep pits and grooves of molars and pre-molars that are vulnerable to caries because these areas are hard to keep clean.  Sealants don't require any tooth structure to be removed, utilizing a plastic material that fills the grooves to prevent bacteria from accumulating there. It is best to get the sealants placed as soon as the full chewing surface of the tooth is fully erupted in the mouth.