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You may have come into our office, Harmony Family Dental, and found out that you have a cavity. Where do you go from there? Well, if your car is broken down on the side of the freeway, you don’t usually just sit there and tolerate it, but instead you get help from professionals. That is how we feel about treating any cavities you have. Because your teeth are an essential tool that give you a smile and the ability to chew, it is important for us to treat cavities promptly, thoroughly, and with no trouble for you.

So how do we fix a cavity? Let’s start learning by reviewing what a cavity is. When bacteria builds up, it turns into plaque or eventually a harder substance called tartar. These groups of bacteria produce a lot of acidic chemicals that damage the outer coating of the tooth (enamel). Eventually, the bacteria gain enough traction to bore into the enamel, creating a hole in the tooth, creating a cavity. It is important to treat cavities promptly, otherwise the bacteria will keep burrowing into the dentin layer and then into the pulp cavity. The pulp cavity is where the tooth’s nerves are located and can eventually cause pain and discomfort.

Our skilled dentist, Dr. Debra Craig, can treat cavities by placing a tooth filling. This approach utilizes various material choices to fill the cavity, shielding the tooth from further infection. Before Dr. Debra Craig fills the cavity, she will clean it out and disinfect it, so it can fully heal. Then you will choose what substance you want to use for the filling.

The options may include:

— Gold: An impression is taken in the office then a mold is prepared in a laboratory. Our doctor will cement the gold in place. Gold inlays are easily accepted by the gums and can last for more than 20 years, so many specialists say they are the best kind of filling.

— Amalgam: Amalgam is a fancy way of saying silver. These inlays are durable, water resistant, and non-corrosive. They are the most noticeable.

— Porcelain: These inlays match the tooth color and cannot be stained. Like gold, they must be formed in a dental lab.

— Composite Resins: Matched to the color of the teeth, these materials are mixed and placed within the cavity at the same time. Though these wear over time and can be stained, they are fast and inexpensive.

If you have a cavity or suspect you have one, make an appointment with our office in Spokane, Washington, as soon as possible. You can schedule a visit by calling 509-467-1562.