Juan M. Carrillo, DMD
General Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Richmond, VA
Cavities and tooth decay are one of the most common health problems worldwide, but when caught early, they can be treated easily with a dental filling. With a wide variety of options for filling materials, Juan M. Carrillo, DMD, can provide an almost invisible filling to restore the function of your teeth and relieve the pain of tooth decay. For more information or to make an appointment, call the Richmond, Virginia, practice today or use the online scheduling tool.
Fillings Q & A
What is a cavity?
Sometimes, poor oral hygiene and tooth decay can lead to the development of small holes or openings in the hard surface of your teeth. These holes, known as cavities, can come from bacteria in your mouth that accumulates from habits like frequent snacking, drinking sugary sodas or failing to brush and floss.
Left untreated, cavities can grow larger and penetrate deeper into your teeth and then lead to serious complications.
How do I know if I have a cavity?
Depending on the location of the cavity and its severity, symptoms can vary widely. However, they often include:
- A toothache, especially one with no apparent cause
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain when eating or drinking something very sweet, very hot or very cold
- Visible holes, cracks, or pits in your teeth
- Pain when you bite down
As the decay continues, you may experience more severe symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Carrillo, regardless of when your next regularly scheduled exam is.
What is a dental filling?
A dental filling literally fills the space created by a cavity and protects your tooth from further decay. Modern dental fillings can be made from a variety of materials, including gold, silver amalgam, porcelain and a variety of plastics and composites.
Because it’s usually non-allergenic and nearly identical to a tooth, Dr. Carrillo typically recommends clear or tooth-colored composite fillings, but you will have a choice of filling materials based on your budget and goals. Dental fillings can also be used to repair or support cracked and broken teeth that have been damaged rather than suffered decay.
What is the process of getting dental fillings?
A dental filling is one of the most common dental procedures, and it can usually be completed easily in just one visit. First, Dr. Carrillo numbs the tooth and surrounding tissues with a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable. The decay in the cavity is cleaned away with a drill, air ablation instrument or laser, and then rinsed of bacteria and other particles.
Dr. Carrillo then adds the filling. If you opted for a tooth-colored filling, it’s applied one layer at a time, then treated with a special light to make it take the proper shape. Once the filling is completed, Dr. Carrillo finishes and polishes it to make it appear like a natural tooth.
If you need a filling or are worried you may have a cavity, call the office today or make an appointment online with the scheduling tool.