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Sometimes even good oral hygiene practices can still allow a cavity to form on a tooth. Without timely treatment, the general tooth decay can slowly spread. In time, it could even start to penetrate the interior of the tooth, leading to potentially serious complications. Early detection and treatment at Dr. Michael Hollingsworth can make it possible to repair the cavity with a dental filling before serious complications arise.

Your dentist, Dr. Michael Hollingsworth, will first need to examine the tooth and take a few X-rays to make sure the decay is limited to the tooth enamel. If it has penetrated the interior of the tooth, more invasive techniques, like a root canal, might be required.

If the tooth decay is limited to the tooth enamel, Dr. Michael Hollingsworth will numb the gums with Novocain and prepare the area. Then, he will use a drill to remove all the decayed enamel to provide a clear surface for a filling.

The material Dr. Michael Hollingsworth recommends for your filling will depend on the tooth’s primary function and its visibility in your smile. Amalgam fillings are made from a blend of inert metals. They are durable, making them a good choice for repairing a cavity on a back tooth. If the cavity is visible in your smile, he might recommend repairing it with a composite resin filling. This is a special dental plastic that can be perfectly shaded to match the surrounding natural tooth enamel.

Once it is cured and hardened, the filling should effectively repair the tooth for many years.

If you suspect one of your teeth has developed a cavity and you would like to know more about dental fillings in St. Joseph, Missouri, you should call 816.232.8788 to schedule an appointment at Dr. Michael Hollingsworth.