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Redmond Smiles Family & Implant Dentistry

Dentists located in Redmond, WA

Cavities are tiny holes in your teeth that grow larger without treatment and can endanger your tooth. The team of expert dentists at Redmond Smiles Family & Implant Dentistry use state-of-the-art digital X-rays to check your teeth for cavities during your biannual exam. They diagnose and treat cavities for men, women, teens, and children of Redmond, Washington and the surrounding area. Walk-ins are welcome. You can also call the friendly staff for an appointment or use the online booking form.

Cavities Q & A

What is a cavity?

Cavities, also called dental caries, are a symptom of tooth decay. They are small holes that may reach all the way to the tooth’s sensitive pulp, which is full of nerves and blood vessels.

Deep cavities may cause pain and sensitivity, but most cavities have no symptoms. Only digital X-rays can identify them, like those used at Redmond Smiles Family & Implant Dentistry.

What causes cavities?

If you don’t brush directly after meals, your teeth become coated with a sticky, bacteria-rich substance known as plaque. When plaque clings to your teeth, the bacteria produce acids that eat away your tooth’s protective enamel, creating cavities.

Children, teens, adults, and seniors are all at risk for developing cavities. Other factors that make you susceptible include:

  • Eating foods high in carbohydrates or sugar
  • Lack of fluoride treatments in childhood
  • Gum disease that exposes more of the tooth to bacteria

How are cavities identified?

During a biannual exam at Redmond Smiles Family & Implant Dentistry, your dentist checks your teeth and gums for abnormalities and then takes digital X-rays of your teeth. By examining the x-rays, your dentist can identify the tell-tale signs of decay.

How are cavities treated?

Cavities are treated by filling the hole with a composite substance made of tooth-colored plastic and glass. Your Redmond Smiles dentist:

  • Numbs your tooth with local anesthetic
  • Removes the decayed matter with a laser or high-speed drill  
  • Cleans and preps the filling site
  • Inserts the composite filling
  • Seals the filling with a special light
  • Shapes and polishes the filling, so it looks and feels smooth and natural

Directly after your cavity treatment, you may notice that your tooth reacts with more sensitivity to heat or cold. This sensation should subside after a couple of days.

You treat and clean your filled tooth in the same manner as your other teeth.

What happens if I don’t treat a cavity?

If you ignore a cavity, the decay progresses. You may eventually need a root canal or a crown to repair the damage. You may even lose the tooth if you don’t treat it in time.

How can I prevent cavities?

You prevent cavities by avoiding sugary foods and drinks, brushing and flossing directly after meals and snacks, and visiting Redmond Smiles Family & Implant Dentistry twice a year. Make an appointment online, or call the friendly office staff.