"You have a cavity."

It's the four words nobody wants to hear at the dentist. The dreaded 'drill and fill' process is just around the corner.

If you have a cavity, getting it filled as soon as possible is the best-case scenario for your teeth, time, and pocketbook.

The only thing worse than having a cavity is letting it go unfilled. This can lead to much of the tooth being destroyed, making a crown necessary. In severe cases, an expensive root canal is the only option, to salvage the tooth.

How do fillings work?

Fillings are used to fill the space of a cavity so the tooth can be fully functional again and structurally sound.

As part of the filling process, the cavity/soft tooth structure is removed. A device commonly known as a 'drill' is used to accomplish this. After numbing the area to be filled, your dentist will typically start with a high-speed handpiece, then switch to a slow-speed handpiece which can create a lot of vibration, these and other instruments ensure all decay and debris is eliminated before the filling process begins.

When filling your tooth, the goal is to make it function like the rest of your teeth. An amalgam, composite, or gold restoration (composite usually for front teeth, amalgam and gold for back teeth) is tightly compacted into the empty space. The filling material is then shaped to look like a tooth and hardens to make it virtually good as new.

Once the numbness wears off,the new filling should feel like the other teeth, occluding at the same time as the rest of the teeth.

Prevention of Cavities

The best strategy for healthy teeth and steering clear of the dentist's drill is to brush twice a day and floss once a day.

Have you been checked for cavities lately?

Remember, treating cavities will cost less time and money if caught early. It's important to schedule regular check-ups and cleanings. You Fargo dental team at South University Dental are happy to serve you. Email our office or call (701) 232-8884. One of our friendly team members will happily help you schedule a convenient appointment time.