While the name of our practice reflects a focus on cosmetic dentistry, our doctors in fact have over 25 years of general dentistry experience. On a daily basis they do many exams to check the health of the mouth’s soft tissues, the teeth, lymph nodes, and joints. They do a thorough exam both visually and with dental x-rays. Finally, they make conservative treatment recommendations based on the health of the patient’s mouth. This will often involve a recommendation to replace worn dental fillings. The most frustrating response to receive from a patient is “I’ll wait until it hurts to do something.” Unfortunately if a tooth hurts it has reached a critical point where it may no longer be able to be fixed with merely a filling. Pain is often the sign of a dental infection, and that requires the more involved treatment of a root canal and a crown. Even after receiving this more complex treatment the tooth may still die as a result of being compromised by the bacteria of a tooth infection. It will then require extraction and replacement. If a restoration is chipped or cracked it is vulnerable to bacteria leaking in and underneath the dental work. This bacteria compromises the tooth and can attack the nerve before the extent of the damage becomes obvious on an x-ray or experiencing any symptoms. It is the same premise as when you have a leak in your house and water silently seeps in and saturates the wood of your home. The outside of the wood may not reflect the depth of the rotted wood underneath, and when you finally discover it you need costly repairs. Don’t make the costly mistake of ignoring simple dental treatment recommendations.