Cavities

Dental cavities are formed when bacteria penetrate your teeth and create a hole in your teeth. Most cavities start off when you fail to clean your teeth properly, causing food particles to attach to your teeth. These attached food particles are known as plaque and tartar. Plaque and tartar harbor harmful oral bacteria. These bacteria process sugars in your diet to create acidic byproducts. This acid dissolves and creates a hole in your teeth, which is what we commonly refer to as cavities.

What should I do if I have a cavity?

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Once a tooth develops a cavity it needs to be treated by your dentist. Cavities are holes filled with bacteria and they don’t just go away by themselves. You must see your dentist to remove these bacteria and fill the hole with an appropriate restoration.

What happens if I don’t fix my cavity?

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As mentioned above, cavities are irreversible and they don’t disappear on their own. If left untreated, cavities get larger and larger as the bacteria destroy more of your tooth structure. This causes your teeth to become sensitive. If left untreated, the cavity eventually reaches your tooth nerve. This causes severe toothache, infection, and ultimately, can cause you to lose your tooth.  

How do you fix dental cavities?

The appropriate treatment for a cavity depends on how large the cavity is. The sooner you fix a cavity, the simpler the solution:

Very small cavities

Very small cavities may be reversible. This only applies to superficial cavities where the bacteria haven’t had a chance to poke a hole in your tooth. You may be able to reverse very small cavities with Fluoride application or other topical treatments. Alternatively, our dentist may apply a sealant to close the gap where bacteria are trapped. Be sure to improve your oral hygiene and diet to prevent these small cavities from recurring. 

Small-to-medium sized cavities

You can fix most small-to-medium sized cavities with a simple filling. Dental fillings include white fillings, silver fillings (Amalgam), and gold fillings. Your dentist will remove the cavity bugs and fills in the hole with filling material. Fillings eliminate bacteria from your teeth and replace them with a sterile and neutral filling material. This way, you no longer have to worry about the cavity getting larger and hitting your tooth nerve.

Large cavities

Fillings work great for fixing small-to-medium sized cavities, but they don’t work as well for fixing large cavities. Large fillings tend to break, leak, and trap bacteria. Plus, your teeth may develop sensitivity and are at risk of fracturing. Instead, you require a crown, inlay, or onlay to fix large cavities. Crowns, inlays and inlays are made from porcelain or ceramic, which is much more durable than fillings. They protect your teeth from cavities as well as bite pressures to protect your tooth for many years to come.

Cavities that reach the nerve

You can fix your teeth with a filling or crown up until the point that the cavity has reached the tooth nerve. When your cavity reaches the tooth nerve your tooth is now infected. A filling or crown is not going to save infected teeth. Instead, you need a root canal treatment to save infected teeth. Root canal treatment removes the infected tooth nerve, disinfects your tooth, and allows you to save your tooth.

Massive cavities

Cavities continue growing as long as they are left untreated. Eventually, they cause your teeth to become weak and start breaking off in your mouth. You must remove these broken teeth from your mouth as soon as possible. The infection can spread from your broken teeth to other teeth, your gums, and the rest of your body through the bloodstream. There have been documented cases of heart infections, brain infections, even deaths, which resulted from an infected tooth. Leaving broken pieces of teeth in your mouth means the source of infection remains in your mouth. This is very harmful to your oral health and overall well-being.

What is the process of fixing cavities?

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The first step to fixing your cavities is to see a dentist. Your dentist will use X-rays to determine how many cavities you have and how large your cavities are. Next, you need to come up with a plan to fix your cavities. You may require fillings, onlays, crowns, root canals, dental implants, or a combination thereof. If you have lots of cavities, or cavities that have caused extensive damage to your teeth, you may require extensive dental work. Come up with a plan and start fixing your mouth before it gets worse.

How do I fix my cavities if I’m scared of seeing the dentist?

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You may be overwhelmed thinking about how much time and money it will take to fix your cavities. However, waiting to fix your cavities only makes matters more complicated. A filling today becomes a crown tomorrow and a root canal the next day. The sooner you fix your cavities, the less time and money you have to invest. Find a dentist that you like and come up with a plan to fix your teeth one or two at a time.

If you’re extremely scared of seeing the dentist, consult with your dentist about sedation options. Options. Many dentists offer sedation options like Nitrous Oxide, oral sedation, or even IV sedation, to get you through stressful dental procedures. Sedation can help you concur your fears of the dentist and help you get your cavities fixed. Plus, your dentist can work on multiple teeth during a single sedation appointment. If you’re currently looking for a dentist near you, feel free to use our dentist Search Engine to find one near you. You can browse through dentist profiles, read reviews, view their treatment photos, even book your appointment conveniently online:

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Fillings

Dental fillings are simple restorations used to fix teeth with cavities, fractures, and other issues. Fillings come in a wide variety of materials including gold, silver (Amalgam), and white fillings (composite or resin). You can use fillings to restore teeth with cavities, abrasions, and minor fractures. Fillings can also be used for simple cosmetic procedures, such as closing small gaps between your teeth or repairing teeth with a color mismatch.

What are the benefits of filling your teeth?

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Filling your teeth is generally a simple, affordable, and convenient procedure. By placing a filling on your teeth you can protect them against further damage. If you don’t fill teeth with cavities, the cavity continues to grow. Eventually, the cavity reaches your tooth nerve and causes pain and infection. At this point, you can no longer fix your tooth with a simple filling. You now require a root canal or you may even lose your tooth! Don’t wait until your cavity becomes so large that they can no longer fix your tooth with a filling. Contact your dentist to have your cavities examined and fix them before they become an even bigger problem.

When does my tooth need a filling?

Fillings are one of the most useful treatments in dentistry. Here’s a look at some dental conditions which can be successfully treated using dental fillings:

Dental cavities

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You can use dental fillings to fix teeth with cavities. Once your tooth develops a cavity, the cavity bugs never go away by themselves. Your cavity will continue becoming larger and encroaching on your tooth nerve. Placing a filling stops the growth of cavities and gets your tooth back to its healthy and happy state. Fillings protect your teeth against further damage and avoid the need for root canals, crowns, or possible tooth loss.

Minor cracks and fractures

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You can also use fillings to fix teeth with minor cracks and fractures. First, your dentist will remove the damaged portion of your teeth. Then they replace your missing tooth structure with either a white or silver filling material. Keep in mind, larger cracks and fractures are typically not a candidate for fillings. Teeth with more extensive damage require a more advanced dental restoration, such as an inlay, onlay, or crown.

Minor cosmetic dentistry procedures

White fillings have some limited uses in cosmetic dentistry as well. Dental bondings and composite veneers are examples of white fillings used to enhance your smile. You can also use white fillings to fix teeth with stains, discoloration, to close small gaps, and for other minor cosmetic procedures.

Additional uses for dental fillings

Fillings have many more other implications in dentistry, such as:

  • Repairing teeth with abrasions
  • Preventive treatment for teeth with deep groves
  • Buildup material for teeth treated with a root canal
  • Sealing the access to dental implant abutments
  • Opening up your bite during orthodontic treatment
  • As a temporary cover for teeth prepared for inlays and onlays

As you can see, fillings are an essential part of dentistry. Most dentists rely on their filling materials to get them through each and every day. Dentists use fillings to restore all sorts of different dental conditions which explains why fillings are considered an integral part of dentistry.

What are the different types of fillings?

There are 3 different types of filling materials used in dentistry: silver fillings (Amlagam), white fillings (composite and resin) and gold fillings. Here’s what you need to know about each one:

Silver fillings (Amalgam)

Silver fillings, also known as Amalgam, are one of the most widely used filling materials. This is because silver fillings are water-resistant and extremely durable, which makes them very easy to work with. The downside of silver fillings is that Amalgam contains mercury, which is a known toxin. However, there is no conclusive evidence that Amalgam fillings cause harm to your body. Many dentists still offer Amalgam fillings as a treatment option, while others choose to only offer white fillings as a treatment option. 

White fillings (Composite and resin)

White fillings, which are composites and resins, are cosmetic fillings used as an alternative to silver fillings. Since white fillings come in a variety of different shades, your dentist can use white fillings to match the exact color of your teeth. As a result, white fillings give your teeth a natural-looking appearance and blend in seamlessly with your actual teeth. Additionally, white fillings are sturdy and extremely durable. You can use white fillings to restore both front and back teeth with excellent long-term results.

Gold fillings

Gold fillings are the original filling material. Since gold is malleable, durable, and can be easily contoured, it makes for the perfect dental restoration material. However, the high cost of gold as well as most patient’s desire to match their teeth color has rendered gold fillings obsolete in many parts of the world.

What is the tooth filling procedure?

Filling your teeth is a simple and relatively painless procedure. Here’s what you should expect from a typical dental filling procedure:

Preparing your tooth

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Filling treatment usually starts off with your dentist numbing your tooth. Typically, one to two shots is all it takes to numb you up for a simple filling. Once numb, your dentist starts removing the cavity or fracture and prepares your tooth for a filling.

Filling the tooth

Once your cavity has been removed and the tooth has been prepared, it’s time to fill the hole. Your dentist will pack your tooth with either a white or silver filling material. He or she will check your bite, evaluate the tooth contacts, and smooth out any rough edges that the filling may have. Pay close attention to the fit and feel of your new filling and make sure you like it. You’re now all done with your new filling! Just make sure to follow your dentist’s recommendation on what to do afterward and contact them should you have any issues in the future.

Limitations of fillings

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Fillings offer a great solution for fixing many different dental problems. However, fillings are not a good option for fixing large cavities, deep fractures, or teeth with extensive damage. This is because fillings are not strong enough to support severely broken down teeth. In these conditions, fillings either fail, fall out, or cause your tooth to endure more damage in the long-run. To fix teeth with large defects you typically require an inlay, onlay, or crown. Talk to your dentist to decide if a filling is a good treatment option or if you require a more advanced dental restoration instead. 

Fixing your teeth with fillings

You need to see your dentist if you think you have a cavity, broken tooth, or any other dental problem. The sooner you visit your dentist, the better your chances of getting away with a simple filling instead of a crown or root canal. This will save you both time and money, plus you won’t have to endure multiple visits and possible referrals to specialists. If you currently don’t have a dentist, you can use our dentist Search Engine to find a great dentist near you. Browse through profiles to read reviews, view treatment photos, and learn more about dentists near you. You can even schedule your appointment conveniently online. Let’s find yourself a great dentist to get your fillings before it’s too late!

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What are dental cavities?

A dental cavity is a hole in your tooth that is caused by oral bacteria. Cavities start off when food particles stick to your teeth, known as plaque buildup. If you fail to clean these plaque buildups, bacteria start to attach themselves to your teeth. These bacteria are very harmful. They produce an acidic byproduct that slowly dissolves your tooth, resulting in dental cavities. If left untreated, cavities continue to grow until they reach your tooth nerve. This results in a toothache and infection! Therefore, the sooner you fix your dental cavities, the better the outcome.

What causes tooth decay?

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There are 2 things needed for a cavity to form on your teeth: (1) bacteria and (2) sugars. It turns out, cavity bugs love sugars… and what better place for bacteria to digest these sugars than when sitting comfortably on your teeth! This is exactly how dental cavities develop.

Am I at risk for developing dental cavities?

Cavities can arise at any age. So long as you have teeth in your mouth, you’re at risk of developing dental cavities. Children, adults, and seniors can all develop cavities on their teeth:

  • Children can develop cavities on baby teeth as soon as their first teeth come out. Since babies start teething at around 6 months old, they can develop their first cavity before even turning one!
  • Adult teeth start to come out when you’re around 6 to 7 years old. Again, you can develop cavities on your adult teeth as soon as they start to come out.
  • Teenagers and college students are very susceptible to developing new cavities due to their lifestyle. However, cavities don’t just stop here. Adults and seniors are also prone to developing new cavities on their teeth.
  • Older adults don’t develop new cavities as often. Instead, they develop what’s known as recurrent cavities. These are cavities that are formed under older fillings and crowns.

Which teeth surface are at the highest risk of cavity formation?

Cavities can form on any tooth surface you can imagine. Having said that, cavity bugs prefer to accumulate in teeth groves. This means that the most common location for cavities to form is on the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. The next most common location is in-between your teeth. This is why it’s so important to brush and floss your teeth regularly to remove bacteria from your teeth surfaces.

How do I prevent cavities?

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The best way to prevent cavities is to live a healthy lifestyle. Here are our a few tips on how you can reduce your chances of developing dental cavities:

  1. Eat a healthy diet: Stich with a healthy diet and avoid sugars. Cavity bugs love processed sugars that are found in sweets, candies, and sodas. Try to minimize your sugary intake. Whenever you eat sweets, rinse or brush your teeth as soon as you can afterward.
  2. Brush and floss your teeth: Thoroughly clean your teeth at least once a day. This prevents food and plaque from accumulating on your teeth which helps fight off dental cavities.
  3. Regular checkups and cleanings: Visiting your dentist regularly is another great way of making sure your teeth stay cavity-free. During your visit, your dentist will look for cavities, clean your teeth, and review you oral hygiene habits. Sometimes they even offer you preventive treatments to try and minimize your risks of developing dental cavities.

What happens if I don’t fix my cavity?

Unfortunately, cavities never fix themselves. Cavities start off from your outer tooth surfaces and work their way towards your tooth nerves. If you neglect to fix a cavity, it eventually manages to reach your tooth nerve. Once this happens, you develop severe pain and infection. To avoid this, fix your cavities as soon as possible. Small-to-medium sized cavities can easily be fixed with a dental filling. However, once a cavity reaches your tooth nerve, getting a filling is no longer an option. At this point, you will require a crown and root canal. You may even lose your tooth!

If you think you have a cavity, don’t waste any more time. Contact your dentist immediately to have your tooth checked out as soon as possible. Click on the link below to use our dentist Search Engine to find a great dentist near you. Read their reviews, check out their office hours, view their treatment photos, even book your appointment online today:

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Replacing silver fillings with white fillings

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There are three basic types of dental fillings:

  1. Silver fillings, known as Amalgam
  2. White fillings, known as composite or resin
  3. Gold fillings (mostly obsolete)

Gold fillings are becoming more or less extinct, as the cost of gold is prohibitive and most people don’t want gold showing in their mouthes. Silver fillings are a popular dental filling material. As it turns out, silver fillings contain mercury which is a known toxin. However, it’s debatable whether or not the small amount of mercury contained in silver fillings is harmful to your overall well-being. Some dentists argue that silver fillings are completely safe since you’re not actually ingesting its mercury content. Other dentists strictly oppose using any form of Amalgam and only offer white fillings in their dental practice.

Should I replace my silver fillings with white fillings?

If you’re planning on replacing your silver fillings with white ones, you need to be aware of the pros and cons of Amalgam removal from your teeth. This way, you can make an informed decision on what’s the best option for your mouth and your body:

Pros of removing silver dental fillings

There are several benefits to removing silver fillings from your mouth and replacing them with white fillings instead. Here are some of the major benefits of eliminating Amlagam from your teeth:

Health concerns over mercury

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Silver fillings contain mercury, which is a heavy metal. Ingesting high levels of mercury produces mercury toxicity which has many dangerous symptoms, for instance:

  • Impairment of speech, vision or hearing
  • Disturbed sensation
  • Lack of coordination

In fact, mercury ingestion is lethal in extremely high doses! Despite the many dangers of mercury, there is no solid evidence that the negligible amount of mercury in Amalgam fillings causes any major ailments. Still, if you are concerned over the safety of mercury, or if you’re convinced that silver fillings are adversely affecting your overall well-being, then you should consider removing your silver fillings. Talk to your dentist about removing your Amalgam fillings to replace them with a safer and more holistic option.

Better aesthetics

The second reason why people choose to replace their silver fillings is due to concerns over aesthetics. Having lots of large silver fillings in your mouth can give you a metal-mouth appearance. Your silver fillings show up when you are talking, smiling, or even taking photos. Replacing your silver fillings with white ones enhances your smile and improves your self-confidence.

Replacing your aging fillings

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More and more dentists are starting to move away from using silver fillings in favor of white fillings. In fact, there are lots of dental offices that offer an Amalgam-free environment. This is primarily the result of health concerns over mercury and cosmetic demands of today’s patients. If you have numerous aging silver fillings in your mouth, chances are they are due replacement. After all, your aging dental fillings are likely to be cracked, leaking, or gathering cavity. Therefore there’s a high probability that your older Amalgam fillings are due replacement sooner or later. If so, it might not be a bad idea to consider removing all of your Amalgam fillings and replacing them with white ones instead.

Cons of replacing Amalgam fillings

Replacing your silver fillings with white ones may improve your health and appearance. However, there are certain risks associated with Amalgam removal as well. Let’s take a closer look at some of the risks associated with replacing your silver dental fillings:

Tooth sensitivity

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Anytime you replace your dental fillings, you could develop some level of tooth sensitivity. The larger your silver fillings, the higher your risks of developing tooth sensitivity. Luckily, most of these tooth sensitivity issues are temporary and they resolve themselves within a few weeks or months. However, sometimes your tooth sensitivity ends up being permanent and requires additional treatment. Therefore, you should proceed with caution when replacing larger silver fillings, especially if you already suffer from tooth sensitivity. Consider replacing a few fillings at a time to give yourself time to recover and adapt to your new fillings.

Potential for a crown or root canal

As we mentioned above, there’s always an inherent risk associated with replacing any one of your dental fillings. Occasionally, your replacement fillings become painful to bite pressure or hot and cold. When this happens, your tooth is most likely to require a crown. If you end up developing a lingering toothache that doesn’t improve with time then you will require a root canal treatment instead. Shat started out as a simple Amalgam filling replacement procedure, could end up becoming a much more problematic situation.

Costs

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Replacing your silver fillings with white ones could be costly, especially if you have lots of them. Not all silver fillings can be replaced with simple white fillings. Larger silver fillings must be replaced with an inlayonlay, or crown instead. Inlays and onlays are more durable than white fillings and they are a better option for replacing larger Amalgam fillings. Of course, if you end up needing a few inlays or onlays, your costs for replacing Amalgam fillings quickly adds up and turns into a big expense.

Does dental insurance cover Amalgam replacement?

Having dental insurance can help with the cost of replacing silver fillings, but it usually won’t cover all of your expenses. Dental insurance only covers medically necessary procedures. Replacing an otherwise healthy silver filling with a white one is considered a non-medical treatment. This means that it likely won’t be covered by most dental insurance plans. Moreso, a vast majority of dental insurance plans only cover silver fillings and leave you responsible for the difference in costs for a white filling upgrade. However, if your Amalgam fillings are broken or developing cavities, then the replacement is considered a medically necessary procedure. This means that there’s a good chance your insurance will pay for some or all of your Amlagam replacement treatment.

How do you find a dentist for amalgam removal?

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There are many dentists nowadsys who offer silver filling replacement treatment options. You don’t necessarily need to seek a holistic dentist, as most dentists these days offer Amalgam replacement as one of their services. Start looking for a local dentist to help you replace your Amalgam fillings with safer, more attractive white fillings. Click on the link below to use our Seach Engine to find a great dentist near you today:

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