Did you know that 91% of adults in the US has had a dental cavity on a permanent tooth?

Cavities by far are the most common condition we treat in the dental office. The most common places for them to form are in between teeth, in the deep grooves and pits of your teeth, and by the gumline– all of the hard to clean places! If visible, cavities appear as a dark or chalky brown spot on a tooth. They cause the tooth to soften in the affected area so they can be confirmed when touched with our dental instruments during an exam. They also cause the tooth to be less dense in the areas it has affected, so they can be detected with radiographs as well. When detected early enough, most cavities can be treated by removal from the tooth and the tooth sealed up by a dental filling. Dr. Kennelly will choose either a composite resin (tooth colored) filling or amalgam (silver) filling.

What can fillings and bonding procedures do for teeth?

> Reshape the tooth and seal it off after a cavity has been removed

> Add bulk back to teeth if a small portion is chipped away

> Close gaps between teeth

How is a filling completed?

Once a cavity has been detected and a filling recommended, we will have you back and first start with administering anesthetic to area where the cavity is. Once the tooth/teeth are nice and numb, Dr. Kennelly will begin by removing all of the cavity and affected portions from your tooth. When everything is cleaned out, he will prepare and prime the tooth to accept the filling material. He will pack the filling material into the tooth and sculpt it to match the anatomy of that tooth. Sometimes, he may need to apply a matrix or band around the tooth to help him shape the filling material properly. Once completed, he will adjust the fillings so it won’t interfere with how your teeth come together and polish everything up so it looks like nothing happened!