Tooth Filling Tacoma WA

Nobody wants to hear they have a cavity. Yet cavities are a simple fix compared to all the other complications a cavity can cause. It’s hard to believe that something as serious as heart disease can come from not taking care of your teeth. Save yourself the physical and mental pain that results in not getting a filling done right away.

Today’s advancements with filling material eliminate the embarrassment of unattractive and unhealthy silver/mercury fillings or metal margins of the past.  We are able to replace the dark, black appearance in your teeth with new-age, state-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin or porcelain materials.

Why time is of the essence

Don’t be fooled, you don’t have to have a toothache in order to have a cavity. If your dentist has recommended that you get a cavity fixed. Don’t wait!

When cavities are not quickly fixed they grow and the decay gets closer and deeper to the nerve. Cavities can even spread to other teeth, resulting in more money and time spent in the dentist office.

For comparison, Root canal’s are typically 10 to 15 times more expensive than a tooth filling!

Get your cavity filled before more invasive action has to be taken, contact our office now.

How long does it take for a cavity to form?

There’s no simple answer to this question, like so many other questions the answer is: It depends. The reason the dentist sees you every 6 months is because it does take awhile before a cavity gets to the point of needing attention. However, early detection is key when it comes down to preventing other health issues.

What other issues can arise?

As mentioned, there are other serious health concerns that come about when cavities aren’t promptly taken care of. Some of these include:

  1. Headaches
  2. Heart Disease
  3. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)
  4. Root Canal
  5. Dental Bridge
  6. Heartburn

How are cavities formed?

Tooth decay is a progressive disease. Bacteria that are naturally on our teeth interact with sugars from what we eat, producing acids that break down the mineral in our teeth. This hard mineral is called enamel, and it protects our teeth. Problems arise when enamel starts to break down with these acids. When bacteria starts to build up it forms plaque and that is where the problem really lies. Plaque holds the acid and it coats your teeth causing decay.

When is a Filling Needed?

Only your dentist can determine whether you have a cavity that needs a filling. This will depend on the extent of damage caused by decay. A filling with restore a damaged tooth back to normal function and will prevent further decay.

How to Prevent a Cavity

Although not eating sugars, and brushing and flossing your teeth regularly helps you to avoid cavities, there’s other things you can do as well. These are…

Sugar-Free Gum and Candies with Xylitol

Chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol (a natural sugar substitute) helps in preventing tooth decay because bacteria cannot use it to grow and cannot metabolize it to produce acid.

Use A Straw

Drink sugary and acidic drinks with with a straw.

Eat Cheese

Calcium levels go up in the mouth after eating cheese and increased saliva calcium helps to re-mineralize teeth and prevent cavities.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are a protective coating that is applied to the surface of the teeth that help in preventing bacteria from growing and causing cavities.


Drinking fluoride-treated water. Fluoride helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay.

Don’t Allow Thumb Sucking

Can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth.

Learn more about prevention by clicking here.

Click here to learn about Dental Care Tips.

Getting Your Cavity Fixed – Fillings

To treat a cavity we remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then replace the damaged tooth structure with a material. We also, replace old and often broken down amalgam/metal fillings that contain mercury with white fillings (composites) to restore your smile and teeth to a more natural look and feel.

Again, the best option is prevention from other serious health issues. Get your tooth filling done as soon as possible. Fillings don’t take long and are not that expensive, especially if you have dental insurance.

Different Types of Fillings

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are the most popular and widely used kind. A huge advantage of composite fillings is that the dentist can match them to the color of your surrounding teeth. However, just like your natural teeth composite fillings do discolor over time. Composite fillings can also be bonded into place, which means less drilling!

Glass Ionomers Fillings

Glass ionomer fillings are a newer option available that are made from acrylic acids and fine-glass powders. They also can be made to blend in with surrounding teeth and can be designed to release small amounts of fluoride to prevent further decay. This type of filling can fracture, however, meaning that it won’t be appropriate for chewing surfaces.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam has been used for over a hundred years for fillings. Amalgam is a combination of copper, tin, silver, and mercury. They are incredibly durable, last a very long time, and are very inexpensive. The downside is that they are silver in color and do match natural teeth.

“Silver” Fillings

Silver fillings aren’t really silver, but are made of base metal alloys that look like silver. These too are very strong and inexpensive. Cavities filled with “silver” fillings are more prone to sensitivity and like amalgam, do not match natural teeth.

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are actually made of gold and other metals. They are very strong, but again do not match natural teeth.

Keep in mind that South Sound Dental also does other types of dental treatments other than teeth filling. Click here to look at all of our dental treatments.


How Long Can I Wait To Get My Cavity Filled?

So the dentist has told you that you have a cavity and wants to schedule you back in for a filling.  You’re not alone if you’re wondering if you can put the filling off for a later time.  You might also be thinking that since it doesn’t hurt maybe you don’t really need that filling after all.  Of course that would be nice–but sadly SO not true!
The best thing to do is to get back in as soon as possible for the filling.  Fillings don’t take long and are not that expensive, especially if you have dental insurance.  However, if you wait, you’ll be looking at needing something more extensive and much more expensive. A root canal (usually is around 10 to 15 times more expensive).
What happens is that over time that cavity grows and the decay gets deeper and closer to the nerve.  Also, the decay can spread to other teeth with means more fillings, more time in the dentist chair, and yep more money as well, not to mention the pain associated with decay that is getting close to the nerve.
Bottom line, save yourself the physical pain and mental pain associated with tooth decay. Schedule your filling appointment right away.  And if you don’t have good dental hygiene habits now, we highly suggest adopting some as soon as possible.  We love seeing you, but we know you’d rather only see us for your regular cleaning and exams!
Patient getting a dental filling