What is a cavity?

A cavity is dental decay in the enamel surface of a tooth that is caused by bacterial colonization. The acid byproducts of food and drink are utilized by the bacteria. They degrade tooth enamel if teeth aren’t brushed and flossed regularly.

Cavities are most common in the deep grooves and pits of the molars, and between the teeth for those who don’t floss. Food becomes trapped in between the teeth, and causes breakdown of the enamel. Cavities are totally preventable, and can be easily addressed if caught early during radiographic and clinical exams.

What is a filling?

Dental fillings are used to treat tooth decay and/or cavities. There are various causes for cavities; the most prevalent is the acid waste products from bacteria in your mouth that feed on sugars and starch. Cavities are most common in the deep pits and grooves on the molars, and also between the teeth for those who don’t floss. This is because food becomes trapped in the spaces between the teeth and causes the breakdown of the tooth structure if not removed.

When you have a cavity, the goal is to remove the decayed part of the tooth to prevent further damage to that tooth and the surrounding teeth and fill the space left behind. The material used to fill the cavity is called composite.  The filling material  used in our office is made of a composite resin, which looks like organic tooth material and can be color matched with your other teeth.

What happens if you don’t fill your cavity?

Not treating your cavity in a timely manner will cause further damage that may eventually become painful and spread to the adjacent teeth. The bacteria that causes cavities is communicable and can pass from tooth to tooth easily.

Left untreated, a cavity will penetrate deeper layers of your tooth and may cause pain. Once damage progresses too far, a crown or even a root canal may be needed. If you feel or see signs of cavities, have them addressed as soon as possible to prevent further pain, infection, or loss of teeth.

What does getting a filling consist of? 

Dr. Vartanian knows dental work can be intimidating, so he and his friendly, capable staff at Newport Institute for Dentistry work hard to ensure that each patient is completely comfortable throughout their visit.

When getting a tooth filling in Newport Beach, the first step is to numb the area with both topical and then local anesthetic. This ensures that you won’t feel a thing.

Next, Dr. Vartanian delicately removes the decayed area. After that he applies etch, which is an acidic gel that roughens the surface of the enamel, making it easier for the filing material to adhere. The etch is rinsed off and then the composite is applied in layers. After this step, a blue light is used to harden the composite. Finally, Dr. Vartanian shapes the composite so it matches the surrounding tooth structure and looks good before polishing it.

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