Children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to see the dentist more than just twice a year. Your doctor will help determine how often you should visit the dentist for regular checkups.
What is a cavity?
A cavity is the space inside a tooth that remains once tooth decay is removed. Plaque is one of the main causes of tooth decay. There are three places in the mouth where you can experience decay or cavities:
On the biting surfaces of the teeth - plaque becomes trapped in the grooves of the teeth, which is most common in children
- Between teeth - this is a hard to reach spot that can be addressed by flossing
- On the root surfaces of teeth - this is common if you have suffered gum recession or bone loss associated with gum disease
What is a filling?
A filling is a synthetic material that your dentist uses to fill a cavity after all of the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings do not generally hurt because your dentist will numb your mouth with an anesthetic. Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including composites, gold, or ceramic. If you need a filling, be sure to talk to your doctor about what type is best for you and your teeth.