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Cavities are one of the most common diseases in the United States, second only to the common cold. Every day your teeth endure attacks from the foods you eat and the beverages you drink. And if you do not maintain proper oral hygiene, these attacks can lead to dental decay. Fortunately, Dr. Calise can use fillings to restore the full form and function of your teeth.

How do Cavities Form?

A cavity is a permanent hole in the enamel on your tooth. It forms at the result of decay. Your mouth contains hundreds of different types of bacteria. They live on your teeth, tongue, gums—and especially in the nooks and crannies between teeth. Some bacteria help break down food. But some are harmful, such as those that contribute to dental decay. These bacteria break down sugars and starches in the mouth and produce an acid byproduct. The acid eats away the enamel, forming a soft spot and eventually a hole if you do not seek treatment.

Are All Fillings Painful?

No. In fact, you could have a serious cavity and never even feel it. This is one of the leading reasons why you should maintain routine appointments at our Avalon Dental Clinic. We will be able to check your teeth every six months and spot early signs of decay before they become a problem. And if you already have a minor cavity we can quickly restore it with a filling before the damage gets any worse.

What is a Filling?

Fillings are a dental restoration the dentist uses to replace hard tissue lost to decay. They can also repair cracked or broken teeth, or teeth worn down from poor habits like nail-biting or bruxism (teeth grinding). There are a few materials you can choose from depending on how you want the filling to look and function.

Types of Materials for Dental Fillings

There are several materials Dr. Calise can choose from depending on the location, look, and function of the filling. These materials include:

  • Cast gold
  • Porcelain or ceramic
  • Silver amalgam
  • Composite resin (white)
  • Glass ionomer

Procedure for Dental Fillings

The first thing Dr. Calise will do is make sure you are comfortable. He will use a topical anesthetic or injection to numb the area around the infected tooth. Once you are comfortable he uses several instruments and materials to make the treatment easier to perform. These might include a rubber dam and a bite block to prop open your mouth and keep the area dry.

Next, the dentist removes the decay with a high-speed handpiece and other manual tools. As soon as the decayed tissue is gone, the dentist cleans and disinfects the area and places the filling. If you choose the composite filling, Dr. Calise will layer in the material and use a special curing light to help the filling harden. Then he will use some carbon paper to test the height of the filling against opposing teeth. He will file down rough spots, smooth the filling, and you are done.

Call Avalon Dental Clinic for Fillings

If you think you might have a cavity, call Dr. Calise at 310-510-0322. He can perform a quick evaluation and get you the treatment you need.