Dentist Questions Dentist

How do they fix a cavity?

I am a 22 year old male and I have a cavity. How do they fix a cavity? What are the treatment options?

7 Answers

Your dentist will removed the decayed part of the tooth ( which is commonly called a cavity) and fill it with a white filing.
If cavity is very big and tooth structure is compromised, your dentist might suggest further treatment.

Sorry to hear about your cavity. Cavities come in all different shapes, sizes, and locations. Provided this is a cavity that absolutely needs a filling (it is not too small where it can be reversed, and it is not to big where bigger treatment is needed) most dentists will start by giving local anesthesia (getting the patient "numb"). The cavity is a tiny hole, at the end of which there is bacteria and a pocket of decay. Once the anesthesia takes effect the dentist will drill where the cavity starts and follow it where the decay and bacteria go. At this point he/she will remove the decay and bacteria and make sure there is nothing but good, clean, hard tooth structure there. Finally the dentist will put in the filling (most likely tooth color that matches the tooth). After the filling is in the dentist will make sure it is smooth, polish it, and make sure all your teeth come together nicely.
The treatment options are limited though. First off, the filling does not have to be done. The dentist is only making a recommendation that you should have it done. If it is small and the tooth structure is still there, then theoretically it can be reversed by keeping it clean (brushing and flossing) and incorporating fluoride. There are options as far as filling materials; tooth colored vs silver (yes some dentists still do silver). Unfortunately, other then this, the only other options are more invasive procedures such as crowns or veneers. Hope this helps.

My best to you!

William F. Scott IV, DMD
Hi there there are different treatment options that you can have for your cavity treatment, depending on how big it is, where it is located, and how deep it is. Please go and speak to your dentist or I will be more that glad to help you with an exam.
You ask an excellent question. First of all, what is a cavity? It is an infection of the tooth. If you have a sore throat, that infection will eventually heal and be normal again. Bacteria have dissolved a hole into your tooth, and are living safe and secure inside your tooth. It is impossible for your tooth to fight the bacteria and heal itself the way your body heals infections such as a sore throat. With no treatment the infection will cause the cavity to become larger and larger until no tooth is left.

Anesthetic is used to prevent discomfort. The infected part of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned away. This will stop the infection process. The dentist will now restore the missing tooth structure with a material to provide normal anatomy and function. You will find the best information available on how to prevent another cavity in the book: GROWING A HEALTHY CHILD, SECRETS FROM A WISE OLD DOC.

You would be well advised to purchase a copy, study it, and follow it. Cavities are almost 100% preventable. It is an infection you do not have to have. Teeth are extremely important and well worth the effort. You only have to provide the preventive care to the teeth you would like to keep.
Thank you for the question.
The treatment for a cavity is a filling. If the cavity is large, the tooth may require a root canal or a crown.

David M. Garazi, DMD
It is best to get your cavity fixed as soon as you can. Cavities most of the time don't cause any pain until they're close to or have entered the pulp or nerve chamber. When this happens you, if your cavity is close to the nerve you may an indirect pulp cap then filling on top. If your cavity reaches the nerve you may try a direct pulp capping and a filling on top. You have two choices for your filling. A silver (almagum), or a tooth colored restoration resin or composite). Some insurance companies will pay for a tooth colored restoration on front teeth only and place the silver filling on back teeth. For back teeth, there may be an extra out of pocket fee for tooth colored material.
In order to fix a cavity, a patient would need a dentist for a filling, where they remove the cavity and replace the area with a resin composite or amalgam filling. This is a permanent treatment.