A Simple Guide to How Dentists Fix Cavities

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Discovering you have a cavity can be a bit of a downer, but there’s good news: fixing cavities is one of the most common procedures dentists perform, and it’s not as scary as it might sound. So, how do dentists fix these pesky problems? Let’s break it down into simple, understandable steps so you know exactly what to expect and why it’s nothing to worry about.

Step 1: Diagnosis and X-Rays

First things first, your dentist needs to confirm that you have a cavity. This is usually done during a regular check-up where they visually examine your teeth and may use a small probe to check for soft spots. Often, they’ll also take X-rays to see the extent of the decay, especially if it’s not visible to the naked eye.

Step 2: Numbing the Area

To keep you comfortable during the procedure, your dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth. This usually involves applying a gel to the gum before injecting a local anesthetic. Within a few minutes, the area will feel numb, ensuring you won’t feel any pain during the process.

Step 3: Removing the Decay

Once the area is numb, your dentist uses a drill (or sometimes a laser) to remove the decayed portion of the tooth. This might sound intense, but you shouldn’t feel anything more than a slight vibration or pressure. The goal here is to clear out all the decay to prevent further damage to the tooth.

Step 4: Cleaning the Tooth

After all the decay is removed, your dentist will clean the area to prepare it for the filling. This step ensures that no bacteria or debris is left behind that could cause problems down the line.

Step 5: Filling the Tooth

With the tooth cleaned and prepped, it’s time to fill the hole where the decay was. Fillings can be made from various materials, including composite resin (which matches the color of your teeth), amalgam (a durable silver-colored material), gold, or porcelain. Your dentist will fill the cavity and shape the filling to match the contours of your tooth, restoring its original shape and function.

Step 6: Polishing and Adjustments

Finally, your dentist will polish the filling and make any necessary adjustments to ensure your bite feels natural. This might involve you biting down on a piece of colored paper to mark where your teeth meet, allowing the dentist to fine-tune the filling’s shape.

Prevention: The Best Medicine

While fixing cavities is relatively straightforward, preventing them is even better. Good oral hygiene practices—like brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and regular dental check-ups—can significantly reduce your risk of developing cavities. If symptoms arise please see our instructional videos on what to expect after you receive your dental filling and we can help resolve them in as little as one appointment!

The Takeaway

Fixing a cavity is a routine and crucial process for maintaining oral health and preventing further issues. If your dentist says you have a cavity, there’s no need to worry. With modern dental techniques, getting a cavity filled is a quick and comfortable  experience. And remember, the best way to deal with cavities is to prevent them from happening in the first place, so keep up with your oral hygiene and regular dental visits.

We Can Help

If you believe that you have a cavity and or hole in your tooth, call us immediately! DO NOT WAIT until there are symptoms of pain, because often it may be too late to fix with just a simple filling once pain starts. We ask our patients to come in even if they feel the slightest sensitivity to hot and cold or sweets that have occurred more than two or three times in the same area. Contact Fundamental Dental today to schedule a consultation at (972) 360-0096 or contact us at info@fundental.com. We are also happy to help you navigate your insurance benefits so you can keep your smile a beautiful, healthy and strong!

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