Cavity Fillings


Getting a cavity filled is a straightforward, quick and inexpensive procedure that replaces the small holes in a tooth after the decayed portion is removed. Cavities are caused by bacteria in your mouth, snacking, sugary drinks and not cleaning your teeth properly or often enough.

A cavity is usually no cause for concern, especially if you address it early. According to the Mayo Clinic, cavities are among the world’s most common health problems. American dentists complete over 175 million fillings every year! Nearly all Americans have had cavities, and about a quarter of Americans have an untreated cavity right now. And the average adult has 4 fillings, but 10 or more fillings isn’t that uncommon. Filling materials include gold, silver, porcelain and composite resin. Composite resin is the most popular because it’s virtually indistinguishable from your natural tooth.

cavity fillings Savannah GA
By the time you feel or see a cavity, decay has already occurred and needs to be treated with a filling immediately, which is a very good reason to get in for those regular cleanings – they can reveal and treat cavities. The sooner they’re caught, the more damage can be prevented. If left untreated, cavities can lead to a severe toothache, infection and tooth loss and more severe health problems like stomach ulcers and cancer. So don’t hesitate, make your appointment today!

Symptoms of a Cavity or Tooth Decay

How Cavities Form

Plaque Builds Up
Dental plaque is a sticky film that coats your teeth. Starchy and sugary foods tend to generate more plaque than other foods, and bacteria multiply more quickly when those foods are left on your teeth. The plaque hardens on your teeth and gum line and eventually forms into a thicker, harder film called tartar or calculus. The harder the film, the more bacteria can grow on your teeth.
Enamel Wears Away
Plaque acids eat away at your enamel and create holes in your teeth. Once areas of enamel are worn away, the bacteria and acid can reach the next layer of your teeth, called dentin. This layer is softer than enamel and less resistant to acid. Dentin has tiny tubes that directly communicate with the nerve of the tooth causing sensitivity.
Bacteria Penetrates Tooth
Bacteria and acid penetrates the soft tissues of your teeth. As tooth decay develops, bacteria and acid moves into to the inner tooth material (pulp) that contains nerves and blood vessels, causing your teeth and gums to swell and feel irritated. Eventually the swelling presses on nerves and roots, causing you more severe pain.
Cavity Needs Filling
The decayed portion of the tooth is removed, and the hole is filled with gold, silver, porcelain, or composite resin. Composite resin is the most popular filling because it's virtually indistinguishable from your natural tooth.


What To Expect:


  • About an hour-long procedure to remove decay
  • Oral anesthesia and or nitrous oxide
  • Removal of decayed portion using a small drill, laser or abrasive tool
  • Filling with resin, porcelain, silver or gold
  • File, shape and seal the tooth
  • It may take a few hours before you have full feeling in your mouth and you may need to wait to eat an hour or so, but generally you can get right back to your day!

Cavity Causes and Prevention:

Inadequate Brushing

If you don’t clean your teeth soon after eating and drinking, plaque forms quickly and the first stages of decay can begin.

Frequent Snacking or Sipping

Eating and drinking frequently feeds bacteria and creates a more acidic environment for decay. Three square meals a day gives your mouth and digestion a needed break.

Sticky Foods

Foods like milk, ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, dried fruit, cake, cookies, hard candy and mints, dry cereal, and chips stick to your teeth more. Avoid those foods, or be sure to rinse or brush after consuming them.


Baby & Toddler Tooth Decay

Bottles with milk or juice at bedtime sit on a little one’s teeth overnight.

Tooth Location

The back teeth have more grooves, NOOKS and crannies that can collect food particles. As a result, they’re harder to keep clean than your smoother, easy-to-reach front teeth, so give them some extra attention when you brush and floss.

Not Getting Enough Flouride

Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities and can even reverse the earliest stages of tooth damage. Because of its benefits for teeth, fluoride is added to many public water supplies. It’s also a common ingredient in toothpaste and mouth rinses. Keep in mind that bottled and filtered water usually does not contain fluoride.

Dry Mouth & Certain Medications

Saliva counters bacteria, acids, and washes away food and plaques. Certain medications, some medical conditions, radiation to your head or neck, or certain chemotherapy drugs can increase your risk of cavities by reducing saliva production. Drinking plenty of water and finding a mouth wash and products designed for dry mouth can increase saliva production.

Worn Fillings or Dental Devices

Over the years, dental fillings can weaken, begin to break down or develop rough edges. This allows plaque to build up more easily and makes it harder to remove. Dental devices can stop fitting well, allowing decay to begin underneath them.

Heartburn and GERD

Reflux, heartburn or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause stomach acid move up into your mouth and esophagus, which wears away the enamel of your teeth and makes you more prone to cavities. There’s A CONNECTION between bacterial growth and digestive issues – one creates and worsens the other. Both can improve with better oral care and diet.

Disordered Eating Patterns

Anorexia, bulimia, overeating and other disordered eating can lead to significant tooth erosion and cavities. Overproduction of stomach acids cause bad breath, bacteria overgrowth and dissolve enamel to make you more prone to decay. Eating disorders also can interfere with saliva production.

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