Fillings Don’t Treat Tooth Decay

In all areas healthcare there are still treatments that exist based on assumptions and ideas that came into existence tens if not hundreds of years ago. This is not to say that all old knowledge is bad, far from it. Growing up many of us have benefitted from the great work of Alexander Flemming, the pharmacologist who discovered penicillin and its ability to eradicate bacteria. Equally there remain many outdated ideas that are slowly being challenged by what we call evidence based healthcare.

Dentistry is no exception to this. One misconception that persists is that when you have tooth decay you need a filling to treat it. In truth a filling only gets rid of the hole that is left by the tooth decay process. If you don’t address the underlying causes of tooth decay a new cavity will sooner or later develop elsewhere in your mouth .

That is why some people say “I always need fillings” and yet others never need any. Beating tooth decay is a relatively easy task with the right knowledge. The right knowledge does however extend to more than just avoiding sugary snacks and brushing twice a day.

So if you are someone who seems to experience a lot of tooth decay what should you do…
Ideally find someone qualified to help you examine at least some of the following things

  • assess your diet, not just what you eat but when you eat it
  • assess the types and quantities of bacteria present in your mouth
  • assess your saliva flow rate and its ability to neutralize acids
  • consider the role of any medications you maybe taking
  • assess the right type of toothpaste and mouthwash for you
  • assess what you should be using to clean between your teeth

Luckily in modern dentistry we have tests available to look at almost all of these things. Using computer modelling as well as experience a preventive dentist will work out a programme of relatively simple changes that can help you to prevent future decay in your mouth.

The changes, like all things often require active participation and commitment to achieve but in return you will be rewarded with fewer fillings caused by tooth decay. As well as the knowledge that you are in control of this aspect of your own health.

Craigentinny Dental Care is an Edinburgh based dental practice offering a wide range of preventive dental treatments for the local people of Edinburgh and beyond.