Your Walnut Creek California dentist has a responsibility to diagnose and treat tooth decay as soon as possible in order to protect your dental health. When tooth decay is detected, a filling or another suitable restoration will be recommended and you will be educated on the prevention of future cavities.

A dental cavity (tooth decay) is formed when bacteria create acidic byproducts that soften and decay the teeth from the outside enamel inward to the pulp, or nerve of the tooth.  Cavities are generally painless in the earliest stages and can deepen and spread without symptoms, which is why it is important to have your teeth checked regularly.

Often, by the time that you begin to notice sensitivity or other symptoms, the cavity has advanced much deeper into the tooth. At this point, rather than a simple filling, the cavity may require more extensive procedures such as root canal treatments and crowns.

Fillings are the most common treatments for dental cavities.  In the past, cavities in teeth were usually filled with metal restorations called amalgam.  Today, thanks to advanced technology and enhanced dental materials, the most common filling material is tooth colored composite resin.  Composite resins, also known as tooth-colored or white fillings, are bonded directly to the tooth once the cavity or the old filling has been removed.

When a cavity become larger or wider, a filling made out of a solid unit of porcelain called an inlay, may be recommended to provide the filling with additional strength and withstand future breakdown. In our office we use high strength ceramics that are milled using our CEREC digital CAD/CAM technique. Inlays are cemented into the tooth with the same permanent bonding agents that are used for onlays and crowns.

If suspect that you may have a cavity, or if you have been informed that you are in need of a filling, it’s time to contact your dentist in Walnut Creek for an appointment today.