Cavities: Treatment and Prevention

Depending on the Severity of the Tooth Decay

To treat a tooth cavity, your dentist will first do an oral examination. Your dentist may still do a dental x-ray of the tooth and area involved to find out the extent of the cavity. There are several ways to treat a tooth cavity, but the appropriate method would depend on the severity of the decay.

Tooth fillings

These are the most common options, to fill in the cavity with the dental filling material. Your dentist will drill in and around the cavity, removing all the decayed material, cleaning the area and preparing it to receive the material. It can be silver, gold, amalgam, or composite material. It is important that it is sealed in place and polished.


If the decay is severe, such as it is already too expansive to save the tooth, a crown is a better option. Your dentist will have to remove all the decayed part of the tooth and cap it with a custom fit artificial tooth, called a crown. It should match the color and form of the affected tooth, and must be sealed in place.

Root canal

This procedure aims to still keep the tooth. If the pulp inside the tooth is already dying or dead, the dentist removes all the tissues therein – nerves, blood vessels, all debris, and all signs of infection – in the pulp chamber until the root ends. The dentist prepares the space to receive medication and filling material, usually gutta-percha. Finally, a crown may be placed on top of it.

Though tooth decay is very common, you can lower your chances of having cavities in several ways. Firstly, it’s necessary to fluoride-brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once-a-day. Limit these types of food: sugary and acidic foods, including snacking. Eat more of these: fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and calcium-rich foods. Drink more of these: unsweetened black or green tea and water with fluoride. And do not forget to pay your dentist a visit, at least every 6 months, not just for cavities but also other dental issues.


Treating Cavities in Bellevue

If you think you may have a cavity, come see your Bellevue dentist here at Overlake Dental. Know more about treatments and prevention tips.