How Fillings Treat Cavities

how to treat cavities with fillingsThe bad news about cavities is that nearly anyone can get one. The good news is that, even if you do develop a hole in your tooth, there’s an effective, tailor-made solution to restore your tooth’s good health. In most cases, that answer is often dental fillings, which can treat cavities by conforming to their shape to fill the void left by tooth decay. With today’s advanced materials, dental fillings perform their functions better than ever before, and with much more aesthetically-pleasing results.

An Inside Look at Tooth Decay

Tooth decay and cavities are sometimes used synonymously, but more accurately, decay is the infection that causes a cavity to form. It begins when bacteria hidden in dental plaque produce enough acids to destroy a tooth’s enamel, allowing the bacteria to reach the tooth’s vulnerable dentin and infect it. The cavity grows larger the longer tooth decay remains untreated.

Dental Fillings to the Rescue

The first step to restoring a cavity-stricken tooth is to stop the infection before the cavity expands. To do so, we’ll carefully clean and sanitize the tooth, then place a custom, tooth-colored filling into the cavity. The material used for the filling is a composite resin made from acrylic that can precisely match the cavity’s shape and your tooth’s color. After being bonded to your tooth’s structure, the filling not only reinforces its strength, but also shields bacteria from re-infecting the tooth’s exposed interior.

In Severe Cases

As long as your cavity only affects the tooth’s main structure, dentin, a dental filling should suffice to restore it. However, if tooth decay has spread to the nerves and tissues inside the tooth’s center chamber, or pulp, then you might require root canal therapy to reach the extensive infection. In severe cases when root canal treatment won’t work, a tooth extraction may be recommended to protect the surrounding tissues and jawbone.


Dr. Brent Engelberg and his highly-skilled team proudly serve patients and their families from Arlington Heights, IL, and all surrounding communities, including; Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Libertyville, Skokie, Evanston, Palatine, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, and the Northern and Northwest Chicago Suburbs. To learn more, schedule a consultation online, or call our office today at 847-259-8030.

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