June 29

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How Do Dentists Fix a Cavity And What Are Fillings?


How Do Dentists fix a CAVITY and what are DENTAL FILLINGS?

You may fear the dentist office because you are afraid to hear the dreaded words: “you have a cavity.”  You know the dentist will then recommend a filling to fix the cavity. But, do you really know it means to have a cavity, or how the dentist fixes the cavity with a filling, or what the filling actually is? At Smile Studios in Redmond, Dr. Tina Subherwal takes pride in taking care of her patients and explaining to them the procedure to put them at ease. We will explain below how we fix a cavity is and what a filling does. We hope learning how fillings work will put you at ease, and take away some of the fear and anxiety you may have.

What is a dental cavity?

A dental cavity is a hole left behind after bacteria destroy a part of a tooth. Indeed, the cavity still contains the bacteria that created the hole. If the cavity is not treated, this will result in worsening of the disease and infection (spread of the infection leading to eventual damage of the tooth and possible bloodstream infection). Consequently, the tooth decay needs to be removed. 


Why do I need a filling to fix a dental cavity?

The tooth decay often causes tooth sensitivity as it progresses deeper into the tooth. It may progress to expose the inner nerves, and compromise the tooth’s structural integrity. This may become a site of continued infection and inflammation. Consequently, the dentist needs to remove the decay as soon as possible to prevent progression of the decay. Once the decay is removed, there is still a hole in the tooth that will cause problems, unless a filling is placed.

Fillings prevent bacteria or plaque from building up inside cavities, which could lead to serious infections. They also reinforce the strength of the tooth, to keep it from chipping and cracking. Consequently, we strongly advise you to have your cavities taken care of when they are first identified to prevent further damage of your tooth and preserve the integrity of the tooth.


What is the dental filling procedure? 

During the dental filling procedure, the dentists removes the decay inside the cavity. This is done with a drill. Removing the decay prevents further damage to the tooth. The dentist then places a filling into the decayed part to replace the part of the tooth that was destroyed by the decay

What are the exact steps for getting a filling?

First, the dentist injects a local anesthetic to numb the area near the decayed tooth or teeth to be treated. The anesthetic also numbs the gums and jaw around the teeth. The dentist then uses a drill to remove the decay from the affected tooth.

After removing the decay, the dentist prepares the tooth for placing a filling. The specific method used to insert the filling depends on the type of filling you are getting (either composite, or silver amalgam, or glass ionemer fillings). We at Smile Studios in Redmond use composite resin.

What kind of fillings are there?

Most modern dentists use dental fillings made of composite resin. Many dentists still use silver amalgam and glass ionomer fillings, too. The dentist molds the filling material to match the shape of the surrounding tooth. This helps restore the strength and integrity of the tooth and prevent bacteria and decay from re-entering. The goal of the filling is to restore the health and function of the tooth. This is where the quality of your filling and quality of the work being done becomes very important if you are looking for the best cosmetic/aesthetic appearance. We at Smile Studios in Redmond use composite fillings to match the tooth’s color to give the ideal cosmetic appearance. We take meticulous care to match the filling to the surrounding tooth so it sits perfectly and does not affect your bite.

What are the advantages of composite resin filling?

Composite resin dental fillings help match the color of your natural teeth to give the best aesthetic result. They are very durable and can last up to 15 years with proper hygiene and care. They come in a paste form, which the dentist inserts int o the dental cavity. The paste molds into the exact shape of the cavity. The dentist places composites in layers to fill the cavity completely. Putting them in layers allows the dentist to shape the to fit nicely in the teeth to prevent a change in your bite. The composite is “cured” in place using a bright ultraviolet light to harden the composite resins very rapidly. These resins have properties that allow them to harden rapidly into place with the ultraviolet light. Rest assured, these fillings are fast, safe, and durable. At the end of this process, you will have a composite resin filling in the cavity that has a natural look, and restore the tooth to full functionality without a change in your bite.

Do you use Amalgam or silver fillings?

Amalgum is a mixture of several metals including silver, tin, and mercury. These amalgum fillings are probably what you picture when you think of metal fillings in the mouth. They are cheaper, but are durable and long-lasting, and are easier to place than composite resin fillings. However, the do not look natural at all. At Smile Studios in Redmond, we value the final product of a cosmetically appealing smile, and therefore we do not use amalgum. We want the smile to be natural, and don’t want you to feel like people are staring at you metal fillings.

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If you think you may have a cavity, we strongly urge you to call our dental office to set up a consultation. We encourage regular dental check-ups/hygiene every 6 months so we may monitor for any signs and symptoms. To prevent the cavity, we strongly encourage you to brush twice, and floss every day.

If you have a cavity that needs a dental filling, call our dental office at 425-553-4480, or book online below. Our goal is ensure your oral health, and keep you smiling!


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