Cavities (caries) in teeth or molars?

Do you have a cavity, also known as caries? Then we are happy to help you get rid of it as quick and professionally as we can. We do this by filling your cavity at our dental practice. More information on how cavities occur and filling the cavities in your teeth can be found on this page.

What are cavities?

A cavity is caused by bacteria. There are bacteria everywhere, also on your teeth. When these bacteria stick to the surface of your teeth, they can start to multiply and grow. By doing so they cause a white layer on your teeth, also known as dental plaque. When teeth are not brushed sufficiently, dental plaque will build up. Over time, the dental plaque will start emanating acid, which will then affect the glazing. This is how cavities develop.

When a cavity is really small, and is only in the outside layer of the glazing, it could potentially suffice to brush with a good fluoride toothpaste and to floss or use a toothpick or similar. The cavity will not disappear but it will stop the growth of the cavity and thus will deem a filling unnecessary. If the cavity is- or gets any bigger, then it needs a filling.

Filling a cavity

When you have a cavity, there is big chance it requires a filling. If you don’t do this, the cavity will grow in size and start hurting. To prevent painful teeth and further teeth decay, you go to the dentist to have the cavity filled.

Before the dentist fills the cavity, he or she first drills a small hole. This might sound a bit strange, but by drilling in your “sick” tooth, we take away the part of the tooth which was affected by bacteria. Because of the composite filler we use, it suffices to only drill away the tissue which was directly damaged. It’s important to do this because else the bacteria might return. When the tooth is clean, it will be etched. This means the glazing is roughened with an acid which creates a better grip for the filling. In the case of deep cavities, it’s common to apply an extra bottom layer to curb the sensitivity of the tooth. The filling will then go through a pre-treatment of priming and bonding before being placed in the teeth and filled with composite.

The amalgam, which they used to use to fill cavities, always took a few hours to harden which meant you couldn’t use your tooth for a few hours. These days cavities are filled with composite. Composite fillings harden in mere seconds so the tooth can be used straight away. Sometimes the dentist may advise you to wait a few hours before eating because an anaesthetic was used and it needs to wear off. When you are (partially)sedated, there is always a risk that you might subconsciously bite your cheek or tongue, or burn your mouth on hot liquids such as tea or coffee.

In case the tooth is damaged in such a way that there is no longer any surface which can be used to place a filling, the dentist will advise having a crown placed instead.

Dental fillings used to be very expensive. This was due to the fact that the fillings were made from gold. This all changed when amalgam was invented. Since the introduction of this material, placing a filling has become more accessible to all. However, these days we no longer use amalgam to fill your cavity but instead use composite. This material can, if applied properly and maintained well, stay well for over ten years.

Multiple cavities in one tooth

A tooth consists out of several areas, just like for instance, a dice has. When there are several cavities in the same tooth, these all need to be filled. This means that you will get several fillings in the same tooth. Because you pay per filling it means that the costs of your dental visit will increase considerably when you need more than one filling in your tooth.

Does your invoice say ‘tweevlaksrestauratie’ or ‘drievlaksrestauratie’? Then this means multiple areas in one tooth or molar have been filled.

Anaesthetic when drilling

In case your dentist expects the treatment to be somewhat painful, he or she might suggest the use of anaesthesia. You can however choose whether or not you want this. In case you do decide to opt for anaesthesia, you will feel a small sting as the dentist injects the anaesthesia. In most cases the area will now be numb and the dentist can proceed with the treatment. Are you still experiencing pain despite having had the anaesthesia? Then inform the dentist and he or she will give you another injection. When the dentist has checked with you that you no longer feel a thing, the treatment will be started.

The anaesthesia will make your cheek and/or lip feel swollen. This might complicate talking, eating and/or drinking. This effect will wear off over time when the effect ends but this can take up to several hours after the treatment.

Don’t you want any anaesthesia because you fear the injection itself? Then there is still a way to have a pain free treatment. In this case the dentist will use an ointment to numb the area he has to drill. However, it is important to note that an ointment doesn’t work as well as an injection. Would you like to get an injection even after the treatment has already started? Then inform the dentist. He or she will then you an injection so you won’t experience any pain during the drilling and further treatment.

Sealing the teeth

It is also possible that your molars get treated with dental sealant. This means that your molars will have a thing plastic coating painted on the chewing area of the molar. This sealant quickly bonds into the grooves and depressions of the molar, allowing it to form a protective shield. You can only have your molars sealed after they have fully come in.

Cavity? Make an appointment.

Do you have a cavity or do you suspect you might have one? Then make an appointment for treatment at our dental practice so the dentist can examine you. We advise you not to wait too long before making the appointment because else the cavity can grow in size and this might cause more pain. Make an appointment today and get rid of that annoying feeling in your mouth as soon as possible.

Important to note: to fill a cavity, an appointment of about 25 minutes will be booked. If you have multiple cavities we will book additional time for this to be treated. Do you have several cavities at different sides of your teeth? Then it might not be possible for these to all be treated during the same appointment and you will have to make two appointments. One appointment for one side of your teeth and another appointment to have the other side treated. Treating both sides of your teeth during the same appointment is not always an option. The dentist will inform you of your options.