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What Is a Cavity and How Do Dentists Fix Them with Fillings?


Tooth decay and cavities are some of the world’s most common health problems. However, no matter how common they are, these dental issues may worsen and become more serious if not treated.

Chances are you have heard the word “cavity” before. You have also probably dreaded hearing your dentist say that you have one, but do you really know what this dental term means? If you are not entirely sure about what cavities are, this may be fueling your anxiety about getting the procedure you need. This blog post will shed some light on what cavities are and what needs to be done to stop them in their tracks. 

What Is a Cavity and How Do Dentists Fix Them with Fillings?

If you have noticed small black spots in your teeth, it is imperative that you see your dentist right away. Even the smallest of cavities may worsen if they are not properly cleaned and treated. For some people, seeking treatment for their cavities may not be simple and stress-free. There may be some who get anxious to visit the dentist for their cavities. 

This blog post will shed some light on what happens in a patient’s tooth when a dentist checks for cavities. We hope that gaining insight into the procedure will help curb dental anxiety and encourage more patients to seek dental intervention for their cavities. 

What Is a Dental Cavity?

As its name suggests, a cavity is a hole in a tooth. If left untreated, cavities may worsen and may open the door to a myriad of other different dental problems such as tooth abscesses or even tooth loss later on. 

How Dentists Use Fillings to Fix Cavities

Dentists put in fillings to prevent the cavity from getting bigger. The procedure will require a local dental anesthetic to be applied before the procedure begins. Once the area has become numb, the dentist will clean the area and drill at the tooth to get rid of any decay in the affected tooth. 

Once any decay has been cleaned away, the dentist will dry the hole in preparation for the filling. The patient will have a choice of composite resin, or silver amalgam, or glass ionomer fillings. When the fillings have set in the tooth, the patient will be ready to go home. 

Does the Filling Procedure Hurt?

While there may be a few people who complain about pain when they get fillings placed, most people say that it is a virtually painless procedure that is mildly uncomfortable at the most. People who had previously experienced tooth sensitivity because of their cavities reported that the sensitivity had disappeared after having the fillings placed. 


If you feel anxious about having your cavities filled, it is best that you talk to your dentist. Your dentist will be glad to put your mind at ease and answer any questions you may have about cavities and the filling procedure. Remember that cavities may worsen over time, especially if they have not been treated. Seeking prompt treatment for your cavities will help you avoid more severe dental issues in the long run. 

If you have cavities and need fillings done, or if you would like to inquire about the procedure, come to Thomas E. Cooke Family Dentistry! We provide a full range of patient-oriented dental services. Family dentistry is the foundation of our Raleigh, NC, practice. In addition to treating dental emergencies, we are proud to offer our patients an extensive range of standard dental services.

We have helped thousands of patients in the greater Raleigh area improve their oral health through our superior dental care, from a routine checkup or cleaning appointment to extensive tooth restoration and replacement procedures. Whether you have a dental emergency or just want to know how to better your overall oral health, set an appointment with us!