What is a cavity?
This is tricky –
Caries is the disease process of bacteria (AKA Sugar Bugs) creating an infected area in the tooth. This often causes visible changes but not necessarily sensitivity.
A cavity is an area of dental caries which has progressed to the point that the tooth has developed a cavitation. Dentists use this jargon frequently as it indicates the point where the tooth should have the infected area removed. A cavitation in the tooth will make this susceptible area even more prone to develop quicker as plaque, bacteria and other debris will stick inside of the cavitation.
Here is a photo of a cavity between the teeth. The patient experienced zero symptoms or sensitivity. After the photo, the infected portion was removed. The picture on the right is a final photo of the dental filling. This patient was surprised at how quick, easy and painless it was!
How to fix a cavity?
Our Federal Way Dental office fixes a cavity using multiple steps. First, we get the tooth anesthetized so you don’t feel a thing . After that, we remove the infected portion of the tooth. After the tooth is cleaned, we use etchants (blue tooth soap), desensitizers, primers, bonding agents and a mixture of flowable and dense packable composite resin to replace the area of the tooth removed. Our materials require high intensity blue wavelength light to be cured. After that, we shape and polish your beautiful new filling and check the bite and floss the area as well. If we do a visible filling on a front tooth, Dr. Shoop will give you the mirror and make sure you are pleased!