Even if you are diligent about brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day and attending your regular dental checkups, there is still a chance of an area of minor decay forming on one of your teeth. In many cases a small area of tooth decay can be repaired with a simple filling.
While cavities are commonly detected during your regular dental checkup, you still might have one form between checkups. If you notice a cavity on one of your teeth, you should call your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Addressing the cavity early will help keep it from developing into something more serious.
Before filling the cavity, the dentist will want to inspect the tooth and take a few x-rays to assess the extent of the decay. They can then numb the area with novocaine.
Once the area is sufficiently numb the dentist will use a drill to remove all of the decayed enamel. This leaves a clean surface to cement the new filling in place. The material your filling is made from will vary depending on the tooth’s location and function.
The most common materials include gold, amalgam composite plastic and porcelain. Amalgam and composite materials can be directly applied to the cavity, while gold and porcelain fillings require two appointments.
If you have a cavity in one of your teeth, or you are due for your next dental cleaning, please call us at 301.540.8808 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!