Tooth Decay

Cavity Filling and Treatment for Tooth Decay

cavity filling

Tooth decay is a very common health issue, second only to the common cold. Most children and 90% of adults around the world experience cavities which are also known as dental caries. It is the destruction of the tooth surface that often results in a hole or cavity in the enamel and deeper tooth structure/dentin of your tooth. Regular check-ups with your Scottsdale dentist will identify tooth decay at an early easily treatable stage.

A cavity filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal shape and function. The filling acts as a protective barrier to keep bacteria out and to prevent further decay. Materials for cavity filling can include gold, porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver and other metals).

What Causes Tooth Decay? Tooth decay occurs over time and starts by plaque forming on your teeth. This plaque layer contains bacteria. It is these bacteria in your mouth combined with a diet that is high in sugar/simple carbohydrates that work together. Foods sugar and the bacteria produce acids which eat away at teeth causing decay.

If the tooth decay eats through the outer enamel layer, this hole is known as a cavity. If left untreated, a cavity will continue to grow penetrate the soft layer under the enamel called dentin. This erosion will continue until it nears the center of the tooth where the nerve is and cause an intense pain or toothache.

What are the symptoms of tooth decay?

  • It is usually difficult to feel or see a cavity until it is quite large.
  • The earliest sign of a new cavity is chalky white spot on the surface of a tooth.
  • As decay advances you may notice part of a tooth which looks grayish or brownish in color.
  • Bad breath or a foul taste can signal tooth decay
  • As decay moves deeper into the tooth you may feel pain or increased sensitivity to heat or cold.

Tooth Decay Treatment: Small, shallow cavities usually require removal of the decay with a dental drill followed with cavity filling. Filling materials can include dental amalgam, composite resin, porcelain, and gold. For large fillings you will be given local anesthetic or sedation so you don’t feel any pain.

A large cavity with extensive damage may require an onlay or a crown. If the cavity is deep and damaged the pulp of the tooth, a root canal or tooth extraction may be required.

Family Dentistry in Paradise Valley – Scottsdale, AZ

Our team is committed to providing all patients with safe and gentle care, and Dr. Kidess ensures that patients are comfortable and at ease as soon as they step into our dental office.

If you are concerned with possible tooth decay or just need a routine teeth cleaning and exam, contact Dr. Kidess today at (480) 991-2290 to schedule an appointment.


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