How Do Dentists Fix Cavities?

How Do Dentists Fix Cavities?
How Do Dentists Fix Cavities? (Image: Yury Shirokov/

What is a Dilling?

What exactly is a filling? A filling is a procedure used to restore a tooth that has been damaged by decay. A filling consists of material used to fill the hole caused by decay. There are different types of material that may be used to fill the cavity. A few of the materials used are gold, a silver alloy or a porcelain composite that is used to match the shade of the tooth. The type of material used to fill the cavity depends on several factors such as cost, extent of damage to the tooth and position of the tooth. For example, a gold filling can be more expensive or a filling that will match the shade of the tooth would be preferable for the sake of one's appearance in filling a cavity in a tooth that is in the front of the mouth. These are all factors your dentist will take into consideration when choosing the material to fill a cavity.

Filling the Cavity

How is a cavity filled? When you visit your dentist for a check up he or she will examine each tooth and may take full mouth x-rays to determine the condition of your teeth. When the dentist discovers a cavity that needs filled you will be given a shot of anesthetic to numb the area. This will be done by inserting a needle into the gum surrounding the tooth with the cavity. The dentist will proceed to remove the decayed material from the tooth with a dental drill. The dentist will then clean the affected area and choose the filling material. The dentist will then fill the area with the material used to fill the cavity.


Depending upon the extent of the damage to the tooth the dentist may need to use a crown or cap. This is usually necessary when a large portion of the tooth has been damaged. A dental crown is a cap that is placed over the tooth and cemented in place. If a cavity has caused decay to the point where it has reached the nerve a root canal procedure may be necessary. A root canal is done when the soft tissue beneath the tooth has been damaged. It may be necessary to stop the spread of infection. A root canal procedure involves cleaning out the diseased pulp, reshaping the canal and then sealing the tooth with a crown which enables the patient to keep the original tooth.

Dental Care

Although cavities can be fixed the prevention of cavities is the best course of action. Cavities can be prevented through daily brushing, flossing and regular dental check ups. Eating a healthy diet and limiting sugar intake can also be beneficial in retaining good dental health.

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