Filling Cavities With Dental Fillings

Filling Cavities With Dental Fillings

Cavities, also known as dental caries, are a common oral health issue that many people face. They occur when the enamel of your tooth is damaged and decays over time due to bacteria and acids. This decay creates small holes in your teeth, which we commonly refer to as cavities.

Causes of cavities can vary from poor oral hygiene habits to consuming sugary foods and drinks. When you don't brush and floss regularly, plaque builds up on your teeth, leading to the production of harmful acids that attack the enamel. If left untreated, cavities can cause discomfort and pain while eating or drinking hot or cold substances. In severe cases, they may even lead to infections or abscesses.

What Are Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings are a common treatment used to repair teeth that have been damaged by cavities or decay. These fillings help restore the structure and function of the tooth, preventing further damage and protecting it from infection.

Types of Dental Fillings

When it comes to dental fillings, there are several different types available. Each type has its own unique set of advantages, so it's important to discuss with your dentist which option is best for you.

  • One common type of filling is amalgam fillings. These are made from a combination of metals, including silver, copper, tin, and mercury. Amalgam fillings are known for their durability and resistance to wear and tear. However, they do have a dark appearance that some patients find unattractive.
  • Another popular option is composite resin fillings. This type of filling is made from a mixture of plastic and glass particles. The main advantage of composite resin fillings is that they can be color-matched to the surrounding teeth, making them virtually invisible in the mouth. They also bond well with tooth structure and require less removal of healthy tooth material compared to other types.
  • Ceramic or porcelain fillings are another choice available. These are often used for larger cavities or when aesthetics are a priority, as they can be matched closely to the natural color of your teeth. Ceramic fillings are highly resistant to staining but can be more expensive than other options.
  • There are also glass ionomer fillings, which release fluoride over time, helping prevent decay around the restoration area while being commonly used on baby teeth due to their ease in application or on non-load-bearing surfaces such as root caries restorations or temporary restorations.

The Process of Getting a Dental Filling

The process of getting a dental filling is fairly straightforward and typically involves a few simple steps. First, the dentist will start by numbing the area around the affected tooth with local anesthesia to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the procedure. Once your mouth is numb, the dentist will use specialized tools to remove any decayed or damaged parts of the tooth. This step is crucial as it helps prevent further deterioration and prepares the tooth for filling.

Next, the dentist will clean and disinfect the cavity thoroughly to ensure there are no bacteria or debris left behind. This step helps promote optimal oral health and reduces the risk of infections in the future. After cleaning, your dentist will choose an appropriate filling material based on factors such as the location of the cavity, size, aesthetic considerations, and cost. There are different types of fillings available, including amalgam (silver), composite resin (tooth-colored), porcelain/ceramic, or gold fillings.

Once selected, your dentist will carefully place and shape the chosen filling material into your tooth's cavity using precision instruments. They may use a curing light for composite resin fillings to harden them quickly. After ensuring that everything fits properly and looks natural, your dentist will polish any rough edges or excess materials for a smooth finish. The result? A restored tooth that blends seamlessly with your natural teeth!

At Wes Yomoto Esthetic Dentistry, we provide patients with a wide range of dental services to help them improve their oral health and enhance their smile. Our dentist in San Jose, CA, and his experienced team are committed to providing each patient with personalized treatment plans that address their unique dental needs.


4860 Cherry Avenue #F,
San Jose, CA 95118

Office Hours

MON - THU7:30 am - 4:30 pm

FRI - SUNClosed