Know Your Teeth: Tooth Decay and Fillings

dca-blog_article-16_how-cavities-and-fillings-work

Understanding cavities starts with a basic knowledge of tooth anatomy. Teeth consist of several layers. The outer covering of the tooth is made up of material called enamel, and it’s the hardest substance in the human body. Under the gum line, cementum covers each tooth’s root. Beneath this lies dentin, which contains nerve endings. The deepest layer is called the pulp, and it contains the tooth’s vascular structure and nerve center. After teeth are fully developed, the pulp’s only purpose it to alert us when it is damaged. It does this through transmitting pain.

What Causes Tooth Decay?
Food can easily become trapped in the pits and grooves of a tooth’s biting surfaces, and plaque left behind can start to cause tooth decay. The damage soon spreads from their thin surface to the tooth’s underlying dentin. The second way a cavity attacks is from a smoother surface between teeth or on the front and back. The affected area is usually wide and comes to a point at the entrance to deeper layers of the tooth.

Finding and Treating Cavities
Hands-on visual exams and use of an explorer probe can help your dentist locate areas of decay. X-ray examinations, especially bitewing x-rays, reveal tooth decay wedged between teeth and under the gum line. When these methods don’t reveal enough information, your dentist may use a disclosing solution to test suspicious areas. If a cavity extends into the dentin, treatment is necessary. The two-part goal of cavity treatment includes removing decay and replacing it with a filling material. After injecting a local anesthetic, the dentist uses a high-speed dental drill to remove all decayed portions of the tooth and prepare it for a filling. A liner is often inserted into the tooth to reduce sensitivity. Base cements may be added to deeper fillings for temperature insulation. The filling is usually made from amalgam, resin, porcelain, or gold. Fillings are layered on top of the liner to rebuild its structure.

Cavity Prevention
Affordable dentists can repair most decayed teeth, but cavity prevention is always preferable. The easiest way to avoid the dental drill is to maintain excellent oral hygiene. Brush at least twice every day, and floss once daily. Avoid or limit sugary snacks and drinks, and visit your dentist regularly.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Peoria, call Maple Shade Dental Group today at (855) 979-3356 or make an appointment.

Maple Shade Dental Group offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Peoria. With 3 affiliated practices throughout Illinois, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Maple Shade Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Maple Shade Dental Group.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Both the hygienist and the dentist was very polite and thorough. Both asked if I had any concerns or problems with my teeth. I would recommend anyone to go to this group.
Jim K.
Friendly staff. Didn’t give me the run-around or recommend things that I really didn’t need. Actually listened to what I had to say
Faith H.
Doctor Ruffner is amazing! He really cares about his patients and about the work he does. He knows I have terrible anxiety but he still wipes the tears away when I’m having a hard time. I can’t […]
Sara L.
The staff is very friendly, patient , and I wouldn’t change my dentist for anything! I look forward to getting my teeth cleaned !
#5
The office staff has been awesome from the beginning. I was worried about making the payments being a person on a tight budget with school loans and am appreciating the fact that they will work with […]
Brandi R.
The hygienist is awesome!!!
Michael W.
Dental hygienists are very professional! Wendy is incredible with my kids!
Mary R.
Always excellent service from the entire staff!
John M.
My hygenist is fantastic – not only the face of Maple Shade, but the hands and the heart of Maple Shade as well.
Michael R.
First time there.Thourough cleaning. Great staff, friendly doctor. I saw Dr. Weiss.
Brandon H.
Cindy my hygienist is awesome!
Pamela M.
Dr. Shanahan’ work is top notch and his manner is very kind and considerate. I think Stephanie was the dental assistant’s name and she was fantastic. She kept me apprised of what was happening […]
Bonnie I.
The staff is very nice and very sensitive with people who have issues with going to the dentist. I didn’t go for a long time and now I look forward to going because they make me feel very […]
Jeff C.
Dr. Wolf and his staff were excellent. Very kind and put me at ease during my visit. I’m so glad I chose them.
Audra R.
Staff is wonderful and service was excellent!
Kimberly D.
What a GREAT dental office!! The staff & doctors are wonderful & caring professionals. Every time I go there it feels like visiting family. If you are looking for a dental office that cares […]
Deborah P.
Quick appointment and flexibility with being a bit late due to train and traffic. Doctor Ruffner has a good chair side manner.
Janet P.
Everyone was friendly, helpful, personable, and open about my dental care.
Molly R.
Everyone is so friendly!!!
Donna A.
Dental hygienist was personable and professional. Clean office great clerical staff
Catherine P.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here