What Are Cavities?
Cavities, also called dental caries, are areas of tooth decay. Cavities begin small, and most people are completely unaware when they initially appear. Bacterial plaque forms on your teeth, using the food you eat to create harmful acids. These acids can break down the enamel (outer layer of the tooth), allowing tooth decay to penetrate your tooth’s layers. Thus, a cavity forms.
When cavities develop, they’re generally undetectable by the untrained eye, and they do not hurt. However, as decay makes its way through your tooth’s enamel and reaches the dentin layer, you may experience pain or sensitivity to hot or cold foods. Most cavities develop on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. However, they can form anywhere, including in between teeth and near the gumline.
Dentists are likely the only ones who can spot the earliest stages of tooth decay. That means regular dental checkups at AZ Family Dental are a vital part of your family’s overall health care.
Our Dental Office Locations
Same and Next Day New Patient Appointments Available!
8519 N 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302, United States
28255 N Tatum Blvd Suite 4, Cave Creek, AZ 85331, United States
1820 W Thunderbird Rd suite 1, Phoenix, AZ 85023, United States
Cavity Repair and Fillings at AZ Family Dental in the Greater Phoenix Area
Your cavity repair treatment at AZ Family Dental will match the extent of tooth decay present. If it’s a small cavity, a dental cavity filling is a relatively easy and straightforward procedure we use to address this issue. Most fillings can be performed within an hour, including any needed X-rays or questions you may have for our team. Here is what you can expect:
- Numbing: Before proceeding, one of our dentists will numb your gums, teeth, and adjoining skin to lessen discomfort during the procedure.
- Cleaning: A dental tool is used to clean out the decayed tooth material. The area is then carefully cleaned.
- Filling: The removal of tooth decay leaves a small space in the tooth. Our dentist will fill the space with a filling, such as composite resin fillings, which are tooth-colored and more natural-looking.
Learn More about Dental Cavity Fillings Near Phoenix, AZ
While you may feel anxious at the idea of having a cavity, AZ Family Dental is known for our expert, gentle dentistry services for the whole family, including dental cavity fillings. Contact our Phoenix-area office today to make an appointment. Obtaining a professional opinion about any dental issues you may be experiencing will help you feel more at ease.
Frequently Asked Questions for Dental Cavities
A tooth cavity is a hole that forms due to tooth decay. If you have a cavity, one of our dentists can restore the damaged tooth with a filling. If the decay reaches the tooth’s center chamber (pulp), a filling may not be doable. This is usually when a cavity is left untreated for too long. Our dentist will likely recommend a crown in this case.
Leaving a cavity untreated for more than two years will likely result in significant damage to the tooth’s root and pulp. You’ll also experience more and more pain as time progresses. Due to the irreversible damage, the tooth may need to be extracted completely.
More advanced cavities are usually accompanied by severe pain, making chewing and even talking difficult. An extremely decayed tooth may fall out on its own due to the damage caused to the root and pulp. Any existing cavity needs to be addressed, regardless of its stage, and sooner is better than later to avoid further damage.
Signs of a cavity are difficult to catch in the beginning stages. You may notice a white, chalky surface on the infected tooth’s enamel as the cavity progresses. Long-term cavities can develop into a brownish, black color, but this is uncommon and only occurs in extreme cases. Most of the time, there are no noticeable signs of a cavity, and that’s why regular dentist appointments are necessary.
How quickly your cavity spreads depends on where it’s at, existing conditions, oral hygiene, and diet, among other factors. It can take as little as five months or up to five years for a cavity to reach a point where it needs to be removed. As soon as our dentist detects the cavity, you’ll need to fill it to avoid further issues.