Dr. Deepali Patil

07666101825, 0712-3552950

Pramod Rajshree Plaza, Khamla, Nagpur

Open Hours

Mon - Fri: 10am - 2pm, 4am - 8pm, Sun - Closed

Dental Cavity and Fillings
Dental Cavity and Fillings

A dental cavity, also known as tooth decay or dental caries, is a common dental problem where areas of the tooth enamel become demineralized, leading to the formation of small holes or cavities in the tooth structure. Cavities are primarily caused by the interaction of bacteria, food particles, and acids in the mouth. The bacteria in dental plaque produce acids when they feed on sugars and carbohydrates from the food we consume. These acids can gradually dissolve the minerals in the tooth enamel, leading to cavities.

If left untreated, cavities can progress and affect deeper layers of the tooth, reaching the dentin and eventually the tooth’s pulp, causing pain and potential infections. Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene practices are crucial for early detection and prevention of cavities.

Dental Fillings:

Dental fillings are restorative materials used to repair teeth that have been damaged by cavities or minor fractures. The primary goal of a dental filling is to restore the tooth’s shape, function, and strength after the removal of decayed or damaged tooth material.

The process of placing a dental filling involves the following steps:

  1. Anesthesia: The dentist administers local anesthesia to numb the area around the affected tooth, ensuring a painless procedure.

  2. Removal of Decay: The dentist uses dental instruments, such as a drill or laser, to remove the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth, leaving a clean and healthy cavity preparation.

  3. Tooth Preparation: The cavity preparation is shaped to create space for the dental filling material.

  4. Filling Placement: Various materials can be used for dental fillings, including amalgam (silver fillings), composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), porcelain, or gold. The chosen material is placed into the prepared cavity and shaped to match the natural contours of the tooth.

  5. Curing (for Composite Fillings): In the case of composite resin fillings, a special light is used to harden and set the filling material.

  6. Final Adjustments: The filling is adjusted and polished to ensure proper fit and a smooth surface.

Symptoms of Dental Cavity:
  1. Tooth Sensitivity: One of the early signs of a cavity is tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages.

  2. Toothache: As the cavity progresses and reaches the inner layers of the tooth, it can cause persistent, localized tooth pain.

  3. Visible Holes or Pits: Cavities may appear as visible holes, pits, or dark spots on the surface of the affected tooth.

  4. Discoloration: The affected tooth may exhibit discoloration or white, brown, or black spots, indicating enamel demineralization.

  5. Bad Breath (Halitosis): Persistent bad breath can be an indicator of tooth decay and the presence of bacteria in the cavity.

  6. Pain when Chewing: If you experience pain when biting down or chewing, it may be a sign of a cavity.

  7. Sensitivity to Sugar: Cavities can cause increased sensitivity to sugary foods or drinks.

Dental Cavity and Fillings Treatment

Treatment for dental cavities typically involves the removal of the decayed portion of the tooth and the restoration of the affected area using dental fillings. Here’s a step-by-step overview of the process:

1. Dental Examination: During a routine dental check-up or if you report symptoms like tooth sensitivity or pain, your dentist will examine your teeth, including using dental instruments and X-rays, to identify any cavities or dental decay.

2. Anesthesia: If a cavity is detected and requires treatment, the dentist will usually administer a local anesthetic to numb the area around the affected tooth. This ensures that you won’t feel any pain during the procedure.

3. Decay Removal: Once the area is numb, the dentist will use dental instruments, such as a dental drill or laser, to remove the decayed and damaged part of the tooth. This step is essential to prevent the cavity from progressing and causing further damage to the tooth.

4. Tooth Preparation: After removing the decay, the dentist will clean and prepare the cavity to receive the dental filling. The area is thoroughly cleaned to ensure that no bacteria or debris are left behind.

5. Dental Filling Placement: There are different types of dental fillings available, including amalgam (metal), composite resin (tooth-colored), ceramic, and glass ionomer fillings. The choice of filling material may depend on the location and size of the cavity, aesthetic considerations, and your dentist’s recommendation.

Precautions After Dental Fillings:
  1. Avoid Chewing on Hard Objects: Refrain from biting on hard objects or using your teeth to open packages, as this can damage dental fillings.

  2. Be Mindful of Chewing: Immediately after getting a filling, be cautious when chewing to allow the filling material to set properly.

  3. Temporary Sensitivity: It is normal to experience mild sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures after getting a filling. This usually subsides within a few days.

  4. Report Any Issues: If you experience persistent pain, sensitivity, or discomfort around the filled tooth, contact your dentist, as it may indicate a problem with the filling.

  5. Follow Dental Hygiene Routine: Continue practicing good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash regularly to maintain the health of your teeth and dental fillings.