How Dentists Fill Cavities
Since 1974, BGW Dental Group has served patients throughout northeast Georgia. But just because we serve the dental needs of our community, doesn’t mean everyone attends every scheduled appointment nor that everyone in our community has a dentist. In fact, 9 out of 10 adults having some degree of tooth decay and 90% of adults have had a cavity.
Regardless of age, prioritizing oral health can help you avoid the pain and nuisance of cavities, as well as the process of getting rid of them.
We want to help educate you and your family on the cavity filling process and how dentists fill cavities!
What Is a Cavity?
A cavity is permanently damaged portion of the tooth that appear in the form of holes or tiny openings. A combination of factors can cause this type of tooth decay, but it is a very common dental issue that women and men of all ages experience.
Cavities should be treated as soon as they appear because, if left unattended, they can extend into deeper layers of the tooth and cause painful infections.
What Causes Cavities?
Cavities are caused when bacteria destroy parts of a single or several teeth, leading to decay and potentially worsening infection if untreated.
In order to stop such progression, dentists need to address the tooth decay promptly, and that’s where filling of the cavity comes in to play.
Unfortunately, cavities are not uncommon because they are caused by several human-led factors: late-night snacking, bad oral health, sipping sugary drinks, and failing to properly brush teeth.
How Often Should I Visit the Dentist?
Going to visit the dentist is often a scary and anxious experience for many patients. Regardless, it’s essential to look after your dental care to avoid permanent and painful hygienic consequences.
Dentists recommend getting an oral checkup twice a year- every six months to be precise. This will allow the dentist to catch any cavities, infections, or dental problems that need addressing immediately.
5-Step Cavity- Filling Process
So, if a patient does have a cavity, dentists traditionally use a 5-step process to treat the cavity. While this process may seem scary, cavities are oral consequences that ought to be addressed sooner rather than later to prevent further damage. The traditional process to fill a cavity is as follows:
Numb the Tooth
The first step is perhaps one of the most important for the patient – numbing the tooth. Dentists first apply a topical gel to help alleviate any pain or discomfort during the filling process.
To further avoid pain, dentists can use an aesthetic injection in specific areas to number certain areas being worked on.
Remove the Decay
There’s no point in filling a cavity over a tooth that is decayed and unsmooth. After applying the numbing cream or using the injection, dentists will remove and eliminate any uneven or unneeded enamel.
Different dental tools are used during this phase to avoid any damage to the dentin, a softer material than enamel.
Shape the Tooth
This is the ultimate preparation stage. No cavity filling will be used until the dentist shapes the tooth, providing a small “hole” in which the cavity filling will go.
Filling the Tooth
To strengthen and further adhere the tooth to the filling material, the dentist will use an acid gel on the tooth.
After the gel sets, the dentist can then apply the filling material that was carved out for the substance.
Checking the Dental Bite
Before you leave, the dentist has to make sure that the filling hasn’t and won’t get in the way of your bite in the future.
The last step sometimes consists of biting down on a piece of carbon paper to analyze and catch any high spots that need removing.
Cavity-Filling: Trust the Dentist
Lots of dental patients enter the clinic feeling nervous or even scared to get a cavity filled. The anxiety is understandable but knowing that dentists have a concrete process may make you feel better.
Whether you have one, two, or six cavities, the staff at BGW Dental Group know what they’re doing and will do a great job at restoring your dental health.
Once they’ve completed your cavity filling, you can exit their office feeling reassured, calm, and ready to improve your future dental hygiene routine!
Contact us today to schedule your next appointment with us at any of our locations!